It’s been well documented how the 49ers are near the top of the adjusted games lost list that Football Outsiders releases each season. In 2022, of the team teams with the most adjusted games lost, the Niners were one of three teams to make the postseason.
Kyle Shanahan’s greatness was long overshadowed by his win/loss record, though the conversation often ignored the endless injuries his teams overcame throughout the season. That was no different last year.
Football outsiders recently released their adjusted games lost report for 2022, where the 49ers ranked ninth. As the article noted, “San Francisco has ranked below 20th in AGL for a remarkable 10 straight seasons.”
The 49ers 93.9 AGL in 2022 was significantly lower than the 119.5 AGL in 2021. San Francisco still had the sixth-worst differential year over year. When you look at the split between offensive and defensive AGL, it’s relatively even. The 49ers ranked 20th with 44.2 AGL on offense and 26th defensively with 49.7 AGL.
It was a rough year for the NFC West, as the Cardinals and Rams found themselves worse off than the Niners. Seattle surprised everyone by making the playoffs. Geno Smith is the primary reason, but the Seahawks were among the healthiest teams in the NFL, ranking eighth in adjusted games lost.
Obviously, some of this is out of their control. You have inevitable injuries that happen on artificial playing surfaces. Plus, this is a collision sport. Still, the 49ers need to change their approach. Whether that’s how they practice, rehab, the traveling schedule, etc. Whatever the team is doing isn’t working on the injury front, and we have ten years of evidence.