Claire, you missed the glaringly obvious points regarding the respective fortunes of the 49ers and the Raiders:
- In 2011, the 49ers elevated Trent Baalke to the GM position, replacing Scot McCloughan. The three good seasons that followed (2011/12/13) all featured players drafted or signed by McCloughan and coached by Jim Harbaugh. Starting in 2014, the team became mostly composed of players drafted or signed by Baalke, and the results have been 8–8, 5–11, and this year’s likely 2–14 at best.
- In 2012, the Raiders hired Reggie McKenzie to the GM position. He freely acknowledged that the team had a lot of players who weren’t any good, and with no cap space to sign free agents it was going to take awhile to get it turned around. His first three years with players from the prior regime (2012/13/14) were ugly, but by 2015 the players he drafted and signed had improved to 7–9 and set the stage for this year’s 10–2 (to date).
As long as Baalke is the 49er GM they will be ass. As long as McKenzie is the Raiders’ GM they will be, at a minimum, competitive. This is the main reason for the difference in the arc of the Bay Area football teams.