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Previewing the Lions next opponents: The 49ers season ended before it started

The 2015 San Francisco 49ers never had a chance.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers season fell apart before it even started. The 49ers had arguably the worst offseason ever, losing several key players to retirement, suspension and free agency. Add in a new coaching staff, a drastic quarterback change and a neutered defense and you've got yourself the exact recipe for an NFL franchise debacle. Here's a look at the 49ers 2015 season:

Schedule so far:

Week 1 - vs. Vikings - won, 20-3

Week 2 - at Steelers - lost, 18-43

Week 3 - at Cardinals - lost, 7-47

Week 4 - vs. Packers - lost, 3-17

Week 5 - at Giants - lost, 27-30

Week 6 - vs. Ravens - won, 25-20

Week 7 - vs. Seahawks - lost, 3-20

Week 8 - at Rams - lost, 6-27

Week 9 - vs Falcons - won, 17-16

Week 11 - at Seahawks - lost, 13-29

Week 12 - vs. Cardinals - lost, 13-19

Week 13 - at Bears - won, 26-20

Week 14 - at Browns - lost, 10-24

Week 15 - vs. Bengals - lost, 14-24

Reasons for optimism:

The Detroit Lions shouldn't have too much of a problem this week, because the 49ers don't really do anything well. They rank last in offensive DVOA (31st in passing, 19th in rushing) and 25th in defensive DVOA (25th in passing, 24th in rushing).

The Lions have excelled against poor defenses this year, and the 49ers certainly qualify. San Francisco is allowing an average passer rating of 98.3 (25th) and is giving up 8.1 yards per pass attempt (30th). This is great news for Matthew Stafford, who is finally hitting his stride.

Offensively, the 49ers are even worse. They are averaging just 14.4 points per game and 291.1 yards per game, both lowest in the league.

Reasons for pessimism:

Despite all of the poor statistics, San Francisco has managed to hang with most of their recent opponents. Although they've lost four of their last six games, they have only been outscored 93-132 during that stretch. Part of the reason for their recent competitiveness has been the play of Blaine Gabbert. San Francisco's offense is averaging just 197.5 passing yards per game this season, but in games Gabbert has started, they're averaging 219.3 net passing yards. .