The Atlanta Falcons and then offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahanwill always get remembered for blowing a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
Flash forward to Super Bowl LIV and he will get remembered for blowing a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
All seemed well for the 49ers heading to the fourth. Yet, the defense failed to contain Tyreek Hill who beat Jimmie Ward for the longest play of the game with a 44 yard reception. A pass intereference call on Tavarious Moore in the end zone gave the Chiefs the football at the one. Patrick Mahomes then found Travis Kelce wide open to put the deficit to three.
Shanahan and the 49ers got an excellent opportunity to take time off the clock with a bit over six minutes left in the game. So what happens?
Raheem Mostert took the carry for five yards. With time ticking off the clock what’s the play call? A play-action pass to that gets batted down by Chris Jones. Another pass then goes incomplete intended for Kendrick Bourne. A quick three and out and a 40 yard punt didn’t help the 49ers. Especially the defense or for Shanahan for that matter.
Resulting in plenty of times for Mahomes to drive for the game tying field goal or touchdown. Short throws with the longest of 10 to Kelce got the Chiefs close to the end zone. On a third down play Damien William scored from five yards out to give the Chiefs a 24-20 lead.
On the ensuing kick off Richie James only managed to get to the 15-yard line. With a little under three minutes left Shanahan got plenty of time to get the touchdown needed. Mostert opened the drive with a run of 17 yards. Emmanuel Sanders then got called for a false start negating the two-minute warning. George Kittle then picked up eight yards on a short throw from Jimmy Garoppolo.
Seemed that Shanahan got the offense moving right? Yes. Bourne read the defense and got to open space and picked up 16 yards getting the 49ers near midfield. After back-to-back incomplete passes, Garoppolo nearly found Sanders deep who beat both his defenders yet the ball got overthrown.
On fourth down, Garoppolo got sacked by Frank Clark. Two plays later, Williams scored his second touchdown of the game sealing the Super Bowl wins.
What’s even more shocking for 49er fans this year of all the losses including the regular seasons Shanahan and his play calling were directly responsible for all four losses. Also, noteworthy for the 49ers head coach is late in the second quarter he didn’t use any of his timeouts after getting the football back after forcing a punt that resulted in a touchback.
Unfortunately for some like Joe Staley this might have been his last chance at a Super Bowl win. All for naught though due to the horrendous play calling of Shanahan.