3 Kyle Shanahan Mistakes That Came Back to Haunt 49ers in Super Bowl LIV

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It's tough to resist the urge to pile on Kyle Shanahan after an offense he's responsible for blew another seemingly insurmountable Super Bowl lead. The now-49ers head coach suffered a fate he knows all too well from his time as Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator. In many ways, Shanahan tried to curb his own tendencies and play to win as the walls were caving in around him, but in doing so he put the 49ers in some very difficult spots, from which they'd never recover from.

3. Losing Precious Time at End of First Half

Even John Lynch wanted Shanahan to call timeout after stopping the Chiefs near the end of the first half, and by not listening to his intuition and playing it safe, he likely cost the 49ers a chance at points. He let the Chiefs run the clock all the way down after the two-minute warning and then took two timeouts into the half after his offense had gotten the ball back and moved it into Chiefs territory (before a George Kittle OPI stalled the drive). When wondering if NFL coaches truly trust their QBs, it's best to look at their actions, rather than listen to their words. In this case, Shanahan's silence says a lot about Jimmy Garoppolo.

2. Inconsistency With Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan
Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan / Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Or does it say much at all? While Shanahan didn't trust Garoppolo to lead a last-minute drive in the first half, he put him in some terrible situations late, including several third-and-longs, followed by forced passing situations when the 49ers should've been taking time off the clock with runs. Shanahan may have gotten in his own head.

1. Late-Game Play Calling

The Chiefs were driving deep into 49ers territory attempting to get back in the game after trailing 20-10. An untimely Patrick Mahomes interception put San Fran in business to seal this one up ... or did it? The Niners offense completely lost rhythm and ran the ball just three times in the two drives before the Chiefs took the lead. The rushing attack was their bread and butter, but for some reason Jimmy G was given five opportunities to pass when there was little need (except for on the third-and-long situations). The 49ers controlled the clock and recorded 141 yards on the ground, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Even if they managed to eat more time with the runs, that could've been beneficial, but these seemingly striking inconsistencies doomed the 49ers (in addition to the defensive collapse).