MIAMI GARDENS, Florida – Kyle Shanahan, a graduate of the Andy Reid School of Clock Mismanagement and a double Super Boal goat.
The 49ers coach slaughtered the strategy in the last two minutes of the first half of Super Bowl 2020. Leaving two breaks in his pocket, he gave his team a chance to get into the locker room ahead of the chiefs. There was also no opportunity to compensate for the damage when the officials inevitably made a controversial call.
The shocked coaching was expected to cost Shanahan and the 49ers when the chiefs completed three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and posted a 31:20 win. After spending the whole week defending his aggressive management of the play calling and quarter-finals tactic when the Falcons took a 28-3 lead in the second half, Shanahan went too far in the other direction and even kicked a field on a fourth-and-2 when the score in the third was a tie.
Here's what happened: The Chiefs completed a 1-yard pass to third and 14th, just ahead of midfield, and still had 1:53.
The 49ers could have scheduled their first break immediately, but instead they let the Chiefs waste 35 seconds before the next snap and had only 59 seconds after a touchback to move the ball.
The surest sign that the 49ers were content with a half-time tie – an unfortunate decision against the explosive chiefs – was that Jimmy Garoppolo surrendered five yards in the first two games of subsequent ball possession.
Even Reid – whose career as a coach in the Hall of Fame has been shaped by watch mismanagement, especially at the end of a Super Bowl XXXIX loss to the Eagles – must have scratched his head on the other hand.
So Reid called for a 20 second break and hoped for a third stop, punt and hail Mary magic from Patrick Mahomes. Had he found out earlier that Shanahan was training conservatively, Reid would have called after the first relegation.
The challenge seemed to wake the 49er and Garoppolo ended a 20-yard attack on the 45-yard line, leading to Shanahan's first timeout. The next game was a 42-yard pass for George Kittle on the 13 with six seconds remaining.
Except … that officials put Kittle under pressure due to a ticklish offensive passport punishment to void the profit and caused the 49ers to kneel to run out of time. They seemed to want to do it all the time.
"The recipient stretches out his arm and separates while the ball is in the air, so this is an objectionable passport disorder," said senior vice president of the NFL, who serves as Al Riveron, on Twitter (under-satisfied).
If the bizarre strategy – certainly influenced by the safety net knowledge the 49ers would receive at the start of the second half – should only avoid Mahomes and limit the number of possessions of the chief, why should you suddenly slow down to third place? ?
If it was a sign of a lack of confidence in Garoppolo – who used to do a duck-and-feed interception in half – then the 49ers are more concerned. Garoppolo has signed a five-year contract for $ 137.5 million.
When Garoppolo only threw eight times in the NFC championship game, it was understandably excused to remain in a dominant assault. He can deliver in the clutch when called, supporters said. His two throws when the shackles finally released continued to prove it.
It was just too little, too late. And Shanahan will continue to be persecuted.