A coaching change, roster turnover, key players retiring.
Add it all up and analysts expect 2015 to be a transition year for the 49ers. USA Today went as far to predict the team will finish 5-11, last in the NFC West.
"A schedule that includes the AFC North and NFC North doesn't look particularly forgiving to a team that lost so many key vets to retirement and is adjusting to regime change as well," wrote Nate Davis, per USA Today.
More from FoxSports
When looking at the 49ers schedule outside their division, road games at Pittsburgh, at Chicago, at Cleveland and at Detroit loom. But even home dates vs. Minnesota (season opener), Green Bay, Baltimore, Atlanta and Cincinnati won't be particularly easy.
It wouldn't be surprising to see this prediction come to fruition.
The Seahawks reloaded in the offseason and are favorites to win the division again. The Cardinals have a chance to contend, based on the health of Carson Palmer. The Rams have question marks on offense, but their defense is as strong as ever. The 49ers, however, are trying to find an identity under head coach Jim Tomsula.
Turning the page and bouncing back from an underwhelming 8-8 finish in 2014 might be too tall a task.
(h/t USA Today)