San Francisco 49ers: Jim Tomsula needs to be fired


Although San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula’s job doesn’t seem to be in any trouble, the team’s fourth consecutive loss is just one reason why the Niners need to look in a new direction.

The Seattle Seahawks beat down the San Francisco 49ers for the fourth consecutive time on Sunday. While the offensive came to life in parts of the game, lots of questionable play calls and terrible tackling doomed the 49ers and kept them in the NFC West basement. The performance overall was another example of why Jim Tomsula needs to be a one-and-done head coach.

ALSO ON SPIN ZONE: Who were the biggest draft busts in NFL history?

First off, there’s not much reason to think Tomsula’s job is in any real jeopardy. San Francisco has found their scapegoat, Colin Kaepernick, and he won’t be returning this season after undergoing surgery on his left non-throwing arm. The name of the game for the rest of the season will be to be as conservative as possible so the 49ers don’t look awful.

That doesn’t mean Tomsula is completely out of the woods. Fox’s Jay Glazer is one of many national media members suggesting that the franchise might actually do something smart and keep Kaepernick around for someone that knows how to use him (via Ann Killion of SF Chronicle).

"Fox’s Jay Glazer, a frequent recipient of information coming from the 49ers’ leaky pipeline, reported that Colin Kaepernick’s time with the 49ers might not be over. Why? Because if the 49ers hire another head coach, that coach might decide he wants Kaepernick on the team."

Until a move is made, this mission is easy: make the team look like it has a chance down a score or two in the fourth quarter, and fans will just start looking toward the future. It’s a simple formula, although it looked way too transparent on Sunday afternoon.

More from San Francisco 49ers

Blaine Gabbert and running back Shaun Draughn are severe downgrades to the Kaepernick and Carlos Hyde we were expecting down the stretch of 2015. They ended up being the best tandem of the game with Draughn grabbing 12 carries for a paltry 37 yards and received a third of Gabbert’s throws, catching eight of those for 40 yards.

Draughn didn’t make many inspiring plays on the day. Doing the math, he was held to just 3.1 yards per carry and his longest run was a 9-yard scamper. The running back reeled in the most of the large amount of checkdown throws made by Gabbert.

There lies the biggest problem in the 49ers offense — the lack of plays being made downfield. The team was held to just 14 first downs, converted just 2 of 11 third downs, and all of it couldn’t have been more boring to watch. It was a conservative, vanilla offense that we haven’t seen since the Mike Nolan era.

Nov 22, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated San Francisco, 29-13. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Should coaching or quarterback receive more blame?

Both Tomsula and Gabbert should carry the blame as the small amount of deep throw attempts by the quarterback were off target. However, he seemed to look more comfortable in the two-minute offense as he found receivers and locked in on his trusted tight ends to get a touchdown before the break.

Unfortunately, it already felt like San Francisco was playing in garbage time when Gabbert was making the drive. That’s because the game was essentially over — Seattle already had 20 points midway through the second quarter. Yet, the 49ers still didn’t have much sense of urgency.

That was very clear when Gabbert continued checking down late in the third quarter when the 49ers offense made it into the red zone. There was a run and a few short throws, but there was nothing thrown toward the endzone. It was as if Gabbert didn’t even want to look down the field, content with settling for a field goal to make it 23-13.

It didn’t take long for the Seahawks to march down the field and really put the game on ice. Another drive in a long list of drives that Seattle ran all over the 49ers defense and took advantage of poor tackling all game long.

More from NFL Spin Zone

For everything the offense should be blamed for, the defense should be hit twice as hard. They gave up over 500 yards of offense and let backup running back Thomas Rawls reel in over 200 yards on the ground. Rawls was inserted into the lineup when it was found out that Marshawn Lynch wouldn’t make the start.

San Francisco’s defense admitted that it prepared for Lynch and wasn’t ready for the switch, but that’s a horrible excuse. There’s already enough film on Rawls that the coaching staff could have at least glossed over it knowing Lynch had some lingering injury issues.

Also, no discredit to Rawls, but he is a downgrade from Lynch. It shouldn’t be that hard to adjust, yet the defense looked like it had no idea how to stop him. Hide the name on the back of the jersey, an untrained eye may have just thought that was Lynch having an unbelievable day. Lack of preparation falls squarely on Tomsula, and this isn’t the only time the 49ers have looked unprepared this season.

Next: San Francisco 49ers: Brutal truth shown in midseason grades

A boring, conservative offense and continuing struggles with the defense made this game realistically over about 23 minutes into it. There’s been no improvement in this team since the first week, and the team looked as unprepared as the coaching staff has been all year. Jim Tomsula and company are simply not ready to lead an NFL team.