Mistakes and missed opportunities lead to 49ers loss in Arizona

The San Francisco 49ers (2-3) received a stellar effort from their defense only to see an inept offensive performance result in a 17-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers will go into their bye on a three-game losing streak.
Despite outgaining Arizona, the 49ers would be held to only 10 points, their lowest total since being held by Washington to 9 points in a game played during a downpour on 10/20/2019.

As has been the case throughout the start of this season, the 49ers offense would move the ball only to fall up short in critical situations. San Francisco actually outgained Arizona, but going 1-5 on fourth down to miss points or end drives would prove to be the difference.

Here are the answers to my questions from Saturday.

1. How will Trey Lance handle his first NFL start? Some good. Some bad.

Making his first NFL start, Trey Lance was clearly the focal point of the 49er’s offense. Of the 49ers 59 offensive plays Lance had the ball in his hands for 47 of them, 31 pass and 16 run. The rookie would put up decent numbers going 15-29, 192 yards, 1 interception through the air and gaining 89 yards on 16 carries.

After opening the game with a 14-yard scramble and 16-yard completion to Kyle Juszczyk, Lance would make his first big mistake two plays later. Facing second and nine from the Arizona 44-yard line, Lance would step into the pocket to avoid pressure only to throw high to Travis Benjamin and have the pass intercepted by Cardinal’s safety Budda Baker.

As his numbers would suggest, the performance from Lance was about what you’d expect from a rookie. Lance’s up and down play, a number of offensive penalties and some questionable play calls and strategic decisions from Kyle Shanahan would be too much to overcome.

2. Can the 49ers defense contain Kyler Murray? Yes
3. How will the San Francisco secondary hold up? Good
4. Will the 49ers hold the Arizona offense under 30 points? Yes

The issue for San Francisco today was not the defense. Coming into this game Arizona had averaged 35 points per game and 6.6 yards per play. Despite struggling early on, the 49ers defense would hold Arizona to only 17 points and 5 yards per play.

It wasn’t a perfect effort. The defense struggled with the pace of the Arizona offense on their first possession, allowing the Cardinals to go 66 yards on eight plays to grab a quick 7-0 lead.

From that point on the 49ers defense would stiffen up, holding the Cardinals to only a field goal until late in the fourth quarter when DeAndre Hopkins was able to make a spectacular grab of a Kyler Murray throw to give Arizona a 17-7 lead.

For the most part the 49ers defense did a very good job of containing Kyler Murray and holding up in the secondary.
Murray would be held in check on the ground for most of the game, but still was able to show off his playmaking ability. On one play in the second quarter the 49ers defense would do a good job to keep him from running, only to see him fit a perfectly placed throw along the left sideline to Rondale Moore for a 33-yard gain. The play would help extend a drive that would put Arizona up 10-0.

5. Can the 49ers take advantage of Arizona’s run defense? Yes

The Arizona run defense came into the game allowing an average of 5.4 yards per attempt and the 49ers finished the day right on that number.

The 49ers ran the ball a total of 28 times on the day, 16 of those came from Trey Lance for 89 yards while Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon, Deebo Samuel and Kyle Juszczyk would combine to gain 63 yards on the other 12 attempts.
While the overall numbers look good, it was a number of failed short yardage attempts that would do the 49ers in on Sunday.

The first misstep would come on the 49ers second possession of the game. Already down 7-0, the offense drove the ball into Arizona territory. Facing fourth and two from the Cardinals 34, Kyle Shanahan would forgo a field goal opportunity, instead calling for a Trey Lance run to the right side. Cardinals defensive tackle J.J. Watt would penetrate and slow down Laken Tomlinson just enough to not allow him to get to his assignment, leaving Lance on his own and he would be stopped a yard short.

On the next 49ers possession, they would face fourth and goal at the Cardinals one yard line and once again go for it. After a play fake, Lance would roll out to his right and decide to take the ball himself. He would be dropped short of the goalline after a collision with Arizona linebackers Isaiah Simmons and Tanner Vallejo.

In the fourth quarter the 49ers offense would see another fourth and short play get stuffed by the Arizona defense. Kyle Shanahan tried to dig into his bag of tricks, and pulled out a play that worked in a similar situation two weeks ago against Green Bay. With Trey Lance in the shotgun, Kyle Juszczyk would go in motion and take the snap and try to sneak for the necessary yard. The Arizona defense sniffed the play out and shut it down for no gain and another failed short yardage attempt.


49ers 27 Cardinals 23

Too many mistakes and missed opportunities for the 49ers to beat a talented team.

This article has 57 Comments

    1. Rob,
      Candlestick Park will never forgive the 49ers, lol.

      Frustrating loss because Arizona was practically handing the 49ers a chance to win. Shanahan is determined to win games on trick plays, which btw, never work.

      I never forget what the great John Madden used to say, “always take the points, when you get the chance.”
      I guess Shanahan has never heard that during his coaching career. He left 6 points on the field today when could have chosen to go for two field goals.

      Hammer, good post game breakdown.

  1. Kyle Shanahan deserves an F- for today’s game, and an F+ on the season. Today’s game plan should have been a run heavy (RB’s), and play-action heavy passing game plan. Instead, he had the rookie QB hand it off to a RB for a total of 10 times, and only called a few play action passes. INEXCUSABLE! Kyle’s reputation is tanking, and if he’s doesn’t turn this around soon, the wheels could come completely off.

      1. That big 4th down play call to Juszczyk, you know, the exact same play Kyle called just two weeks ago, was also inexcusable. How do you not expect Arizona to be ready for it? It was the exact same play, and Arizona sniffed it out, as one would expect. This team can’t get out of there own way. And what’s up with all of those QB power runs? That’s how you use your rookie, franchise QB? By running him into the teeth of a fierce defense?

        And you’re right ricardo, Travis Benjamin? This thing where Kyle plays favorites with some guys, and puts others like Brandon Aiyuk and Trey Sermon in the doghouse?

        Honestly, I’d fire Kyle tomorrow if I were Jed!

        1. And like I said a couple weeks ago …. Trey Lance’s play style is exactly the kind of style we’ve seen rookie QB’s have success with over the last few year. Kyler Murray is a perfect example. But it takes having a head coach who is willing to go all in on him. Not this wishy washy commitment from Kyle. He seems like he’s begrudgingly playing Lance right now. It seems like he’s not even trying to set him up for success. Today’s game plan is a perfect example of this, and I am not exaggerating when I say that. It’s as if Kyle is mailing it in!

          The 49ers could be in a situation right now, where Lance is 5 games into his development, and the team is 3-2. I think that’s a very realistic bet. This offense, with Jimmy G at the helm, is stale, and painful to watch. At least Trey Lance injects some excitement into an otherwise identity-less offense. And why is this offense plagued by so many mistakes? Talk about sloppy. We are 5 games into the season now, but it’s like they are eternally playing preseason games. They can’t go a series without committing a drive killing penalty. And when Cliff Kingsbury is outcoaching you’re coach, that’s when you know you have serious issues on offense!

          Do I need to go back and chart every questionable play call of Kyle’s. Honestly, I think he’s trying to prove some kind of point at Trey’s expense!

          1. Kyle seems like he’s ready to move on. I don’t think he wants to be the 49ers coach anymore. It feels like he’s quitting on the team!

            Jed probably ought to hold onto lynch and find another Head Coach who actually wants to take Trey Lance under his wing and make him successful, cuz this ain’t working with Kyle Shanahan calling the shots! And whatever Jed does, he cannot leave Kyle Shanahan at the top of the hierarchy, because that’s no longer going to work!

            Remember, they don’t have any more first round picks until 2024.

            1. Grant is just bitter because he don’t get no respect from Kyle because he’s a social media reporter.

              Kyle isn’t going anywhere. I will make sure to hold you accountable to your comments in the weeks after the bye.

        2. Kyler Murray is a perfect example

          Kyler is a completely different kind of player than (what we’ve seen so far) Trey. Trey can scramble a bit, but he’s not elusive in the slightest like Kyler. Or for that matter Wilson. Those two, btw, are pocket passers, their respective teams successes had to wait until they became adept in the pocket, to deliver the ball consistently from the pocket. Will Trey also develop into one? We don’t know but it’s beyond ludicrous to make snap judgments from one single game.

          (Also btw, the cards have yet to taste playoffs with Kyler playing).

          1. Seriously. The good mobile QBs, like Kyler, Russell, Pat, even AR…they aren’t trying to run, they use their mobility to extend plays in the pocket and wait for their Wrs to come open and make stupid passes that get completed.

            Trey did a little of that sunday but nothing close to what they do.

            Making Trey a running qb like Colin or RG3 or Cam…doomed to failure and the guy will be out of a starting job in 5 years time. Run first qbs will always fail, but scrambling Qbs are extremely successful (Joe and Steve are perfect examples).

  2. Hey Jack:

    Is there any way for you to find out if going for it on 4th down five times during a regular season game is a record?


  3. Kyle had a great game plan. The 49ers ran the ball and controlled time of possession. They kept the defense fresh and it paid off as they limited one of the best offenses in the league.

    It was a great game plan by Shanahan in Lances first career start.

    1. Disagree. The 49ers rushed the ball 28 times and Lance had 16 of those rushes. Several of the rushes were called pass plays where Lance escaped pressure. The next closest RB in terms of attempts was Mitchell with 9. I don’t think Shanahan called enough rush plays. And if your QB is your leading rusher then you’re not going to sustain success in the NFL. Its not a model that lasts over years. Also, designing run plays for your QB to run up the middle or through the Gaurd/Center are extremely risky calls. Not a way to protect your future franchise QB. Lance dropped back to pass more than 30 times and one of the best blockers in the NFL in George Kittle was out of the game. Calling 12 designed run plays to running backs was a bad game plan in my opinion. I’m a huge Kyle Shanahan fan but I very much disliked his game plan and his play calls in this one.

      1. That’s a good point, but how many did Lance keep that he could have handed off. Let’s not forget Mitchell was coming in injured so I am not surprised he didn’t get touched down the stretch. Ball security with a bad shoulder is a thing.

        1. I’m just going on memory but I don’t recall any Read options where Lance had the option to hand off or keep it himself. From what I recall, every rush play for Lance was a designed QB keeper.

    2. @Foster

      I agree. This run-heavy plan was a good plan for Lance’s debut.

      Lance is going to be the best QB of this draft and prosper in Kyle’s system in a couple of years. He still has much, much more ways to go before he can diagnose what the defense is throwing at him. His INT was a good example. Before he turned his back on play action, he saw one defense. But the time he turned back the safeties had rotated and the CB had move a lot. His brain at this stage couldn’t deal with the change and he forced the ball inaccurately into coverage. In future, he will check down on those, or just run it for first down. Just watching Josh Allen on SNF showed to me what Lance could become.

      1. The interception had nothing to do with Lance being unable to decipher what the defense was throwing at him, and everything to do with the throw being inaccurate.

        1. Yep. In fact Lance mostly did a good job on that play. Recognised the play was covered initially and didn’t force it, used his legs to evade pressure and kept his eyes downfield so recognised when Benjamin came free. He then just overthrew it.

          Most of what he did was exactly what you want from him.

        2. You can see the clip of the play starting at 27 s mark in the video linked below:

          Benjamin was surrounded by four defenders within 10 yards of him when Lance threw the ball (freeze video at 32 s mark to see). It’d be a tough throw even for a highly accurate QB to make when stationary. It’d be ridiculous to expect one to make it on the move.

          Lance could have checked down to the TE to his right or even run for a first down. He didn’t because he had made up his mind to throw to Benjamin and could not process the changed coverage fast enough, IMO.

  4. Hey Jack do you think on Juice’s 4th down that he is supposed to make a read and potentially not snap it? It seems like Shanahan was not too thrilled in post game conference on that play.

      1. I mean Garoppolo is like 4 for 4 on QB sneaks right? Add in Juice against GB and that’s 5 for 5 on sneaks.

        It sounded like on the Radio it was 4th and a long yard and not inches? So I could agree with a bad playcall by Shanny under that circumstance.

        1. There’s a difference between a QB sneak and having the fullback undercenter. Everyone knew what was happening when 44 went in motion there.

  5. Just because the 4th down-plays got snuffed out doesn’t mean they were a bad idea. If a couple of them had worked out KS would be called a genius. That’s the way it goes when you gamble.
    I think KS tested the limits of Lance and now we know what they are. This could have been the ‘Wunderkind-show’ instead it showed a rookie QB. If Lance keeps running like he did we will soon have to look for another QB.
    many of his runs were accidents waiting to happen.
    We got lucky on Sunday!

    1. Especially on the goal line drive (where Lance was stopped), it could have gone the other way with Lance getting injured when he put his head down and basically ran into a brick wall. The problem is that since it is 4th down, Lance saw it as no choice but to give his all and possible injuries be damned. A more experienced QB might have seen he had little shot and capitulated. Why not in that situation just get some points on the board with a field goal to get the offense started. As we saw near the end of the game, the new FG kicker was not a problem. The only thing I can think of is that at that stage of the game KS did not trust the defense to be able to stop the Cards and therefore felt the need to go for the TD instead of FG. As it turned out the opposite was true.

      1. I mean on the goal line you have to go. Lance had Dwelley open and he could have just dove or extended ball. He is 6’4 and shrunk his body to 5’8 on that play.

        1. No, you don’t. Especially at the beginning of the game. Take the points and instill a bit of confidence in your rookie QB that he was able to lead a drive and get points.

          IIRC the offense was on the Arizona side of the field 8 out of 9 possessions and only managed to score twice. Couple that with a poor offensive performance against the Hawks and to me it makes sense to get the sure points – especially at the beginning of the game. Thereafter, you see how it goes.

  6. Good write up Jack. I feel like Kyle came into this game thinking he really wanted to be aggressive on fourth downs because he expected the Cardinals to put up points. I think that strategy should’ve changed later in the game based on how the defense was playing. I really didn’t like the 4th down call to Juice. 49ers have already shown that play this year so Cardinals easily sniffed it out (Cards were offsides on that play but it wasn’t called). I also felt like Trey should have pulled up on that goal line play and tossed it to the wide open receiver in the end zone. No need to try to run through 2 defenders. Plays like that make me question Lances natural instincts for the QB position. I really disliked the designed run plays for Lance. Most were interior rushes where maximum punishment should have been expected. Didn’t really see any Read plays off the edge. Watt was crashing down the entire game. Seemed like those read option runs to the edge would have been much more effective. Film will tell though. All in all I felt like this was a really lazy game plan and play design by Kyle on offense. Probably reading more into it than necessary but it seems like the frustration with injuries is impacting Kyles game preparedness.

    1. Trey made a few quationable decisions, but he’s a rookie making his first start. Kyle made many more quationable decisions, and he’s not a rookie, so where does the blame really belong?

      Anyways, yesterday’s game is in the past. All that matters now is how this team responds moving forward. With a bye week in front of them, and an average NFL team, at best, waiting beyond the bye, it’s an ideal time to allow Trey to build on his first start. That’s how guys get better. He needs to take what he learned, and get back to grinding in practice over the next 2 weeks in order to get better, and build upon his effort, making whatever improvements he and his offense needs to make, to get back to winning games.

      Going back to Jimmy after the bye, would be a major missed opportunity for this football team moving forward, but then again, missed opportunities are becoming the defining feature of the Kyle Shanahan era, so I guess we probably shouldn’t expect anything less at this point. I know I don’t!

      1. I honestly don’t even know what to call yesterday’s game plan. It was shockingly misguided! Kyle basically took the exact opposite approach to game planning for Trey Lance, than one would reasonably expect, so I am truly left to question whether he even wants to coach this kid up at this stage of his career.

        In fact, I am really starting to believe that the 49ers only chance at winning a Super Bowl moving forward, is if they manage to trade Kyle Shanahan before his shine completely wears off, and it’s wearing off at a record pace this season, so time is of the essence!

        1. trade Kyle Shanahan before his shine completely wears off, and it’s wearing off at a record pace this season, so time is of the essence!


          Consider this. This new HC of yours will take a look at Trey, doesn’t like what he sees and decide to move on to something else (see Kliff Kingsbury). “Hell, it wasn’t me who engineered that f-ing trade.”

          Before any panic moves as blurted out from the excitable fringe of the fan base (and the fan base should always be calling the team shots, amirite?) give Shannie and the new QB a couple more full seasons together to prove themselves. If still in the mud, the team should move from one or the other, possibly both. The team will only be set back 5 or so years.

          1. The NFL is a results based business, Rib. Kyle now has a 31-38 record as the 49ers HC, and is currently in last place in their division. This team is far too talented to be losing games in the fashion that they are. This is the NFL, and as the saying goes, the initials stand for Not For Long. You don’t get to pull the rebuilding card 5 years into your tenure as a Head Coach, and use it as an excuse. Kyle’s responsible for the fact that they are even having to depend on the development of a very young, inexperienced QB, in his 5th year. But it’s even worse than that. He’s resistant to playing the kid, even though we all know he’s only to get better by playing games. Kyle has a responsibility to figure out a way to win now. Kyle even said Trey Lanced played well enough to win, but the guys around didn’t. That’s on the HC. Kyle is responsible for finding a way to win while developing Lance, and if he isn’t up to that task, then they need to find a head coach who is!

            If fans like you keep giving Kyle a pass, acting like he hasn’t had enough time to produce a consistent contender, well then you get what you ask for in this world. Kyle is 5 years into his tenure, and losing is no longer acceptable, PERIOD!

        2. Uhhhh, I can’t tell if you’re being serious. Trade Kyle Shanahan? There are at least 26 teams that would immediately fire their head coach to hire Kyle Shanahan if he was available. That should suggest to you that there aren’t many better options out there, unless of course you want to return to the days of Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly. I think there should be a legitimate discussion on the job done by John Lynch. To me, you could make a valid argument that Lynch has not done a good job.

          1. “Uhhhh, I can’t tell if you’re being serious”, says the guy with most ridiculous screen name, maybe ever!

            Dude, I don’t care what you think, so kick rocks and get lost!

            1. As for Ribico …

              I don’t know what else to tell you, dude. Kyle is 31-38 as the 49ers HC. He is in his 5th season, and his team consistently looks unprepared offensively, and Kyle just put together a pathetic game plan for his future franchise QB’s first ever NFL start. If you understand this truth, but you still want to deny the obvious, there’s obviously nothing I, or anyone else can tell you, that would change your mind, because that’s the way DENIAL works, unfortunately.

              1. I am only going to say this once more, so pay attention guys:

                There was a time, not all that long ago, when Kyle Shanahan was one of the brightest young offensive coaches in the NFL.

                Unfortunately, time doesn’t stand still.

                In the NFL, a head coach is defined by wins and losses. And it’s not just about getting to those big games, it’s about winning them. Kyle has failed on both of those accounts.

                Fortunately, a large portion of the 49ers fan base is now coming to terms with who Kyle Shanahan is as a head coach. Call it a revelation …. call it an awakening …. call it whatever you want, the fact of the matter is, Kyle Shanahan has lost the reputation he once had, and no amount of denial will ever change this fact!

              2. It doesn’t matter because he went to a super bowl. The owner just extended him. He has pedigree in the league and the organization.

                Kyle is going to play Jimmy because he wants to win games. The 49ers play the Colts, Bears, Jaguars, Falcons, Texans, and Vikings still, and the Rams twice who Shanahan owns.

                Btw if Shanahan is such a bad head coach how come he dominates against McVay who is a good head coach?

              3. Like I said James, no amount of denial is going to change the facts! You can spin it all you want, but the fact of the matter is, Kyle is 31-38 as the 49ers head coach, and his team is in last place in their division, for the fourth time in five season.

                2017: 6-10, last place in their division
                2018: 4-12, third place in their division
                2019: 16-4, first place in their division
                2020: 6-10, last place in their division
                2021: 2-3, last place in their division

                Kyle Shanahan is 31-38 as a HC thru 69 regular season games, and he has made the playoffs once. That’s NOT good enough! I don’t care how good he was as an offensive coordinator prior to becoming a head coach. The fact of the matter is, he has a losing record as a head coach. He’s in last place for the 3rd time in 5 years. And his offense consistently looks unprepared and undisciplined.

                Those are facts!

              4. Kyle Shanahan didn’t didn’t have a track record as a head coach, before Jed york hired him in 2017. He does now! And his track record as an offensive coordinator, is much better than his track record as a head coach. Most of his poor decisions are of the head-coaching variety, and I’m not talking about his poor game management. I’m talking about personnel decisions, and big-picture items, and it starts at the QB position! His resistance to moving on from Garoppolo is less about Garoppolo’s talent, and more about Kyle’s utter inability to win with any other QB. That to me, along with Kyle’s resistance to developing his future QB, tells me more about Kyle than it does about the quarterbacks.It’s kind of like junkie, right? Kyle can’t quite Garoppolo because he doesn’t think he can win without him. How pathetic is that?

                If Kyle believed in his ability to out scheme his opponents under any circumstance, he’d embrace Trey’s development. Because this team is only going to get as far as Trey takes them! Why? Because the 49ers mortgaged the future in order to draft him. They went all in as an organization, but the head coach refuses to buy in. Most of the experts will tell you that, while there is some value in redshirting Trey’s development for a year, a QB with his level of inexperience, and lack of playing time over the course of 2+ seasons, is too much time to have him sit. That’s the biggest problem with putting off Trey’s development! It’s essentially doing him, and his team, more harm than good. And you can’t leave a rookie QB exposed by being unprepared to start, when your regular starting QB is the most injury prone starter in the league. Again, you are doing him a great disservice, and you’re doing your entire team a great disservice as well. It would be one thing if Jimmy wasn’t injury prone, and he was balling out, but that’s obviously not who Jimmy G is at this stage. This team is going nowhere fast with Garoppolo behind center, and everybody accept Kyle seems to understand this. I can’t hardly even watch Jimmy struggle anymore. That’s how bad it has gotten. The 49ers aren’t exciting to watch with Garoppolo at QB. They are boring with him, because he’s so limited physically.

                And the bottom line is …. they are never going to take the next step until they turn the page at QB! At this rate, Trey’s going to have to go through the same process NEXT SEASON! He’s not going to magically develop while sitting on the sideline and running the scout team. He needs first-team reps in practice, so that he can play each week, and stack each week onto the next, and each game onto the next game. That’s how these young mobile QB’s get better. At this rate, the 49ers won’t be ready to compete for a championship until 2023 at the earliest. And in the NFL, too much can happen in two years time take take that approach. Who knows how good this team will be in two years, compared to this season. You have to strike while the iron is hot in the NFL (NFL= Not For Long), but Kyle seems content to do the exact opposite. He may have recently signed an extension, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be fired or at least trade, and honestly, that day of reckoning is quickly approaching.

            2. Oh man. You replied to my original post which is why I responded to you. Maybe if you want me to kick rocks you should get out of the way. Buy hey, keep talking to yourself. Maybe some new voice in your head will respond to one of your other voices with a more informed opinion than all the other voices. Good luck 49Voices.

    1. We have been through less than a third of the season. Some more-injured teams will heal by November and less-injured teams may become more injured by then. Some offenses are still figuring it out and will get into the groove after 10 games or so. And good defenses will assert themselves in December and January.

  7. IMO KS is in a play calling slump, its been that way back into last year. I don’t want my QB rushing 16 times – he wont last long, guaranteed.

    1. He’s in a slump because the offense can’t get consistency from the RB’s. Once Wilson comes back and Mitchell is healthy this team will start to go.

      1. The running backs were better than Lance on called running plays yesterday. Same the week before against Seattle.

      2. It’s a bit of everything. Some calls Shanahan is making are a bit head scratching. But the players aren’t doing much to help him out atm – so many drops, so many penalties, so many missed assignments, and some bad throws. Hard for any play caller to look like a genius.

        The whole offense needs to do better.

        1. Everyone except Mike McGlinchey.

          This week the human turnstyle committed two holding penalties, a false start and gave up a sack. That’s the good part. He looked even worse on tape as his man had numerous disruptions in the backfield.

          This man is an asset to opposing defenses and I feel like there should be a weekly league-wide award for this level of aptitude.

  8. Such a winnable game yesterday. D played better than expected outside of a few drives with some lousy tackling and the offense moved the ball but couldn’t capitalize. Shanahan did the Cards all sorts of favors yesterday… Getting away from the run game against that aggressive AZ front and the 4th down play calling was more than frustrating. Hopefully the bye will allow this team and coaching staff to reset/refocus and get back to running the damn ball regardless whether Trey or Jimmy starts. This pass happy offense as of late isn’t going to cut it.

  9. The one thing I have been impressed with most this year is Josh Norman’s play.

    For a guy who they more or less got off the street he has been a huge upgrade over Dontae and Deommodore.

    Is there a similar upgrade to be had over McGlitchy?


    This is the story of Kyle Shanahan’s career! Kyle’s still young, and he would seemingly have a lot of football still ahead of him in his coaching career, but I can’t think of a more appropriate use of two words, than these two words, to describe his career up to this stage. Some people say he just isn’t a closer. That he doesn’t know how to close out games. I personally feel that his issues go deeper than that.

    His latest example: The 49ers were only down by 3 points, on the road, in the biggest game of the season up until this point. The 49ers have the ball on the Cardinals’ 48 yard line, and it’s 4th down, and 4 yards to the line of gain. There is 7:48 left on the play clock, so there is plenty of time left. Kyler Murray is banged up, and the Niners’ defense has been getting after him, and really playing well. The 49ers have a punter that they drafted in the 4th round, and that punter is in top form, consistently one of the best in the league at pinning the opponent deep in their own territory. Additionally, you’ve already been stopped on 4th and short, on three different occasions in this game, and your offensive line is absolutely gassed.

    Is going for it really the right call in that situation? In fact, is there another head coach who would go for it under these circumstances?

    And if you decide to go for it for some silly reason, is it then smart to go for it by putting your rookie QB in shotgun formation, when the crowd is going absolutely nuts?

    To date …. this is the story of Kyle Shanahan’s career, in a nutshell. Another missed opportunity, in a career full of missed opportunities.

    1. And what about the lack of discipline, and all of the same dam_ mistakes being made over and over again?

      For instance: How in the world does Dee Ford line up in the neutral zone, AGAIN, on a critical 3rd down play vs the Seahawks? How is it that, in 2021, Kyle hasn’t told Dee Ford that he doesn’t care how far off the line of scrimmage he lines up, but that if he lines up in the neutral zone again, he’s going to be benched?

      That’s a lack of leadership from your head coach. Year in and year out, Kyle’s team continues to be undisciplined, committing far too many costly penalties, and at critical stages of the game. We saw it again this Sunday. How many times does this team commit silly penalties that end up costing them valuable drives? I’m sorry, but that’s absolutely on the HC!

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