The 49ers scratched and clawed behind Robert Saleh’s defensive masterpiece to upset the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16. That loss has Kliff Kingsbury’s future with the Cardinals in doubt, as Arizona now must beat a Jared Goff-less Rams team in Week 17 to avoid a catastrophic collapse and make the playoffs.
Saleh’s Mona Lisa was an exclamation point on his tenure with the 49ers, one that almost certainly will end after Week 17. Saleh will get the head-coaching job he has earned and Kyle Shanahan will have another offseason decision added to his checklist — one more important than the one that gets all the headlines.
Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins benched Tua Tagovailoa after he was ineffective against a porous Raiders secondary and let Ryan Fitzpatrick turn on the magic to keep their postseason hopes alive and eliminate the Raiders from playoff contention. The Silver and Black’s latest failure put a capper on a lost year that will leave them with even more questions than when the season began.
Here’s what we learned from Week 16 of the NFL season.