Why the San Francisco 49ers are worse than the St. Louis Rams
By David Fucillo, Manager of Niners Nation
I'm surprised I even need to spell this out. Rams fans are stuck with Jeff Fisher for at least one more year, so I understand the general frustration of mediocrity. For 49ers fans though, the franchise appears to be bottoming out to a certain degree. The team lost some major leaders on both sides of the ball last year, but the problems start up top. Depending on who you want to believe, CEO Jed York and possibly GM Trent Baalke forced out head coach Jim Harbaugh because they did not like his abrasive personality. The team conducted a search, but Jim Tomsula's promotion capped off months of speculation that he was the guy York wanted as head coach. We'll never know exactly what happened behind closed doors, but when the speculation turns into facts a few months later, it's hard to not believe it all.
There were plenty of doom-sayers when Tomsula was hired, but some folks (including yours truly) tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, as we head into the season finale, it seems pretty clear Tomsula is in over his head. The team makes few if any in-game adjustments, lineup changes comes long after they should have happened, and the team seems entirely undisciplined and unprepared on a weekly basis.
It would seem like this is a recipe for Tomsula to get fired, but right now it seems like he will be back in 2016. Firing Tomsula would require Jed York to admit he was wrong to a certain degree a year ago. I just don't see that acknowledgement happening quite yet. I think Tomsula gets a reprieve, but more than likely ends up getting canned midway through the 2016 season. And so, we're basically left waiting for 2017 to arrive before any hope for the future.
And all that assumes Jed York and Trent Baalke (assuming he too hasn't been canned) are able to find a coach that is willing to join this franchise. I think it's possible this thing improves down the road, but it's just hard to drum up any optimism at this point.
Why the St. Louis Rams are worse than the San Francisco 49ers
By 3k, Manager of Turf Show Times
I'll answer this two ways.
In the short-term, I think it's closer than many think. While the gap looks pretty large, I think the Niners have bottomed out. It may not get better quickly, but there isn't much room to sink lower than where you guys are at now. The Rams, though, don't show much evidence of getting better than they have in recent years. That the Rams have won their last three games is more a function of who they played (against the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and the pure fluctuation of horrible football and very good football that defines Fisherball (against the Seattle Seahawks).
So it's just very hard to say the Rams are worse as it stands today...
The Niners could fix it.
If San Francisco has bottomed out, or is anywhere close to doing so, they've got nowhere to go but up. The Rams? With Jeff Fisher at the helm, they're poised for a multi-year run of that juicy spot in between being good and being bad that offers just enough hope to stave off any real improvement or depreciation. The Rams went 7-9 in 2012 with an offensive line gumbo of Rodger Safflold, Wayne Hunter, Shelley Smith, Quinn Ojinnaka, Robert Turner, Scott Wells, Harvey Dahl and Barry Richardson, a WR corps of Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens and a QB/RB combo of Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson.
Jeff Fisher spent the last three years improving that offense by -1,000 passing yards and 100 rushing yards.
So long-term, it's less a matter of who's worse than who has a chance to get better.
The Niners could improve things and be less ungood. The Rams, especially with reports suggesting Fisher is under no real threat to lose his job after four years of ungood football, are stuck with ungood as long as they'll force themselves to be.
There's light at the end of the tunnel for the Niners.
The Rams are parked on the side of road inside the tunnel marveling at their new, shiny rims with everyone impressed that sometime soon, the car will be going very, very fast.