RICHMOND- Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The belief of being able to overcome the past doesn’t go away.
In the case of Kyle Shanahan, blowing a lead in the Super Bowl seems like nothing new. 2nd time in the last 4 years. This one not as bad as the first, but still leaves a fanbase seething with disbelief and dissapointment.
Up 20-10 in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers blew a chance to capture their 6th Lombardi trophy and instead dropped like flies as the Kansas City Chiefs hit 21 straight points to clinch their first Super Bowl Title since 1969.
San Francisco’s highly ranked defense ran out of steam during the Chiefs onslaught and who could blame them? With no time to rest or recuperate following their series, they couldn’t even grab water before being forced to go back out onto the field.
Early on in the game, Kyle and the 49ers got the run game going and it forced Kansas City to make changes and it kept eventual MVP Patrick Mahommes and the Chiefs offense off the field. In the end, they abandoned their original plan and instead walked off the field disappointed rather than jubilant.
Wait a second, this seems very familiar to Shanahan, Oh wait. Just 3 year ago, as a coordinator in Atlanta, he was in the exact same predicament. Only this time he was up 28-3.
That time, he was also thrashing the QB that is viewed by many as the greatest of all time in Tom Brady. They even had the members of the national media laughing at the Patriots and praising Kyle.
Until the moment when Kyle’s nerves tightened up and he lost his way of coaching that made his father Mike so famous. He abandoned the run in favor of the pass.
The Patriots? They took advantage and raced back to tie the game and ultimately have James White score the game winning touchdown to win the game 34-28 in overtime.
Fast forward and the same result happened. It wasn’t 25 points, it was 10. But that ranks among the highest leads blown in championship sports history.
The 49ers who had won 5 Super Bowls in a row, have now last their last two appearances in the big game. The previous loss was to the Baltimore Ravens in the “Harbaugh Bowl” 34-31 back in 2013 in New Orleans.
Considering that general manager John Lynch was asking for the team to take a time-out from inside the press box tells you that Shanahan may not have had the same belief in his team in this game that he had during the NFC Championship game against Green Bay.
The offseason in the Bay Area will leave many fans a lot to be desired and while Lynch has done a solid job of drafting players, now it will come down to getting better offensive players to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
But if Shanahan is your coach, the belief and hope is that he does not let this happen a third time because these chances are very scarce to get and the opportunities don’t come often.
The 49ers will be a good team in the future, they have far too much talent to drop off a cliff. But this will certainly carry over into next season. For Kyle? He has an entire offseason to learn how to run the ball, and for his sake, we hope he does.