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Last year the 49ers were fighting for the No. 1 seed in the NFC and flirting with the No. 1 spot in the NFL Wire power rankings alongside the Ravens, Chiefs and Saints. This season their disappointing 6-10 finish landed them at No. 23 in the rankings among a slew of other bad teams.
The good news for the 49ers is not all 6-10 finishes are created equal. A healthier roster puts San Francisco back into the top-10 conversation barring a massive regression from one of their starters.
However, NFL Wire’s Mark Schofield harped hard on the 49ers’ quarterback situation all year, and that will continue to be a major question mark going into 2021. From Schofield:
A season removed from a Super Bowl appearance, the San Francisco 49ers now have to ponder the future at QB given what they saw this season. Jimmy Garoppolo struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness, Nate Mullens showed a penchant for throwing the football right to linebackers, and while C.J. Beathard displayed flashes in the final few games, it is hard to envision Kyle Shanahan simply turning the franchise over to him.
If the 49ers go into the 2021 season with Garoppolo under center and no viable NFL starter behind him, there’s a chance they could wind up right back in this position should he get hurt again. It’s difficult to believe the club would stand for that scenario, which means even if Garoppolo continues as the starter, he’ll be backed up by a player who might eventually be able to take his job.