The 49ers were officially eliminated from the 2020 playoffs Sunday in Arizona. Nick Mullens played Santa Claus to the Dallas Cowboys, gifting them with two interceptions and a fumble for 17 points. Richie James kicked in a fumble, too, for another 7 points. And if you’ve never seen an onside kick returned for a touchdown, you came to the right game, as the Niner special teams performed just such a fluke to send us all home muttering and incoherent.
The loss also guaranteed that the 49ers will finish the season with a losing record. For the third time in Kyle Shanahan‘s four years as the HC.
This is exactly the career track of former HC Bill Walsh, except Walsh won his SB outing and Kyle did not. Walsh went to the NFC Title game in his fifth year and launched a 17 year run of 10+ victories per year, racking up two more SB titles before retiring after the 1988 season. Shanahan has his work cut out for him if he wants to continue emulating Walsh’s career.
If you look at the stats, it would appear the 49ers completely dominated this game in all areas. Then you get down to that lone fatal stat: Turnovers = 4.
On the never ending injury front, Raheem Mostert sprained his ankle yet again and limped off the field, while Jimmie Ward tried to knock Ceedee Lamb out of the game, but instead wobbled himself off with a concussion. Mostert’s injury forced the team to insert Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon into the game, praying they wouldn’t get injured bad enough to prevent cutting them both as soon as the offseason arrives. This appears to have been successful.
Only two more games until we close the book on this awful year. The team could wreck the season for either the Cardinals or the Seahawks, or both, but most likely neither. 5-11 seems where this mongrel is headed. It hasn’t been a totally lost season, at least. The Patriots were also eliminated from the playoffs Sunday. We take our pleasure where we can.