In certain ways, the 49ers season was a success.
The 49ers won six games after starting 0-9.
The 49ers tripled their win total from last season.
The 49ers added quality rookies who improved throughout the year.
The 49ers traded for Jimmy Garoppolo.
The 49ers didn’t fire their head coach.
These are big steps. For the first time since Jim Harbaugh was the head coach, the 49ers can feel good about themselves. They were one of the hottest teams in the NFL by the end of the regular season and could have been dangerous in the playoffs.
But, they didn’t make the playoffs. They eliminated themselves.
Players and coaches made rookie mistakes almost every week during the first half of the season. They started to win when Garoppolo became the quarterback, the schedule got easier, and the rookie players and rookie coaches improved.
Had the 49ers not beaten themselves and lost five games in a row by three points or fewer early in the season, they might be playing this weekend.
They missed an opportunity.
But, they created hope they’ll have more opportunities to make the playoffs in the future.
Hope is good.
Here are the 49ers grades for the 2017 season. And remember, these grades are based on an entire season, not the final seven games. That’s how grades work.
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