With the blowout loss to close out the 2018 season, we’ve got a ton of stuff to unpack as we move into the (read: our) offseason. The 49ers season may be over, but now we begin the difficult transition into free agent watch and mock draft season. Anyway, lets get to it.
First and foremost, enormous congratulations to George Kittle, who sadly missed out on the single-game receiving yardage record for tight ends several weeks ago against the Denver Broncos, but capped off a productive day against the playoff-bound Los Angeles Rams with the single-season receiving yardage record for tight ends. Coming into the game, he was well-poised to break the record set by Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, but was situated behind Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in active totals. As the Chiefs put a stomping on the hapless Oakland Raiders, Kelce broke Gronkowski’s record - but his celebration was short lived, as Kittle broke that record roughly an hour later on a 43-yard touchdown.
However, another season record was set by the 49ers today, although, it’s not quite as prestigious. This 2018 San Francisco 49ers team forced 7 turnovers throughout the season, smashing the previous record for lowest amount of turnovers by a team during a season, which was 11. Splendid.
In major news, interior offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson, who was the least-injured lineman on the roster throughout the season, suffered a potentially serious knee injury halfway through the game. He was carted off the field and did not return, and more information will be made available after the team is able to get him through the proper medical processes. Dependent upon the severity of the injury, there exists a possibility that he may not be available for some of the 2019 season - a tough pill to swallow as he was a serviceable option at a position that was already shaky at best.
In other news, the 49ers have secured the second overall pick in the 2019 draft. Had it not been for a late-game blunder by the Arizona Cardinals and the usual late-game heroics by the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers may have had a chance at the first overall pick, but alas, the Cardinals have secured that dubious honor. Furthermore, the list of 49ers opponents for the 2019 season has been finalized, as they will play the normal 6 divisional games, plus 4 games against both the AFC North (Browns, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers) and NFC South (Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints), as well as 2 games against 3rd place divisional finishers Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins.
It’ll be several months before things begin to move forward - save some surprise coaching firings. The next major step will be the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, beginning on February 26th, 2019. Shortly after, free agency will open on March 13th. Needless to say, we’ve got a long road of having our Sundays back. Today marks the final edition of the 2018 Golden Nuggets - see you all in 2019!
George Kittle sets single-season TE receiving yardage record | Ostler, SF Chronicle | Chan, NBC Sports Bay Area | Chan (2), NBC Sports Bay Area | Biderman, Sac Bee | Wagoner, ESPN | Madson, Ninerswire
Laken Tomlinson suffers potentially serious knee injury | Branch, SF Chronicle
Signing of Reuben Foster led to Redskins executive firings | Montero, KNBR
49ers defense sets season record for fewest (7) forced turnovers | Madson, Ninerswire
List of 2019 opponents finalized | Madson, Ninerswire