Finishing with a 6-10 record is rarely a cause for smiles in the NFL, but the 2017 49ers were one of the rare exceptions.
It helps to start 1-10 and it helps even more when that five-game winning streak is led by the quarterback you traded for during the season. Jimmy Garoppolo‘s arrival changed the outlook for the 49ers dramatically in the final weeks of the season and coach Kyle Shanahan on PFT Live that the team didn’t want to wrap things up after Week 17 as a result.
“It was cool to be a 6-10 team, come in on a Monday when the season’s over and no one wanted to leave because we didn’t want that feeling to end,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan credited that late run to having “the right type of people” and shared a story about safety Eric Reid suffering a knee injury in the final weekend of the season to illustrate that point. Shanahan said “we didn’t have anything to play for” and that he wasn’t expecting Reid to return to the game with free agency on the horizon, but Reid was back on the field a series later and closed out the game.
The same record would obviously draw a different response in 2018, but continuing to bring in the right people should help the 49ers’ chances of playing beyond Week 17 for the first time since 2013.