A 24-10 loss to the lowly Browns last week has “muddled” the 2016 status of 49ers rookie head coach Jim Tomsula, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch, who writes that Tomsula was a good bet to return next season prior to the Cleveland game. However, a listless showing in which the 49ers were outgained 481-221 and fell to 4-9 means Tomsula could be coaching for his job over the season’s final three weeks.
Outside of the 49ers’ horrid performance in Ohio and their lousy overall record, certain postgame comments aren’t helping Tomsula’s cause, Branch notes. Two 49ers – left tackle Joe Staley and linebacker Ahmad Brooks – said the team was too excited over its victory in Chicago the prior week and didn’t take the Browns seriously enough, which is obviously a problem for a club that shouldn’t be overlooking anyone. Moreover, opposing head coach Mike Pettine said the Browns outcoached and outplayed the Niners.
All isn’t yet lost for Tomsula, according to Branch, as the 47-year-old could retain his job if his team avoids another horrible outing down the stretch. On paper, that shouldn’t be overly difficult for the 49ers. They host playoff-bound Cincinnati on Sunday, but the 49ers have been semi-respectable at Levi’s Stadium this year (3-3, minus-14 point differential), while the Bengals will be without starting quarterback Andy Dalton. After that, San Francisco closes the season with a pair of bottom feeders – Detroit (road) and St. Louis (home).