Shanahan needs to improve in high-pressure situations
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the top offensive minds in the NFL today, but when the stakes are highest and the pressure is on, he doesn’t have the best history of success.
When Shanahan gets into a groove as a playcaller, he’s unstoppable. But when he runs into a little bit of trouble — sometimes as small as a single yard to gain — the 49ers’ unofficial offensive coordinator has been known to make some crazy decisions.
Shanahan continues to receive a pass for his coaching mistakes, but he needs to start learning from his bad decisions. One would think that a headscratching call on the game’s biggest stage would be enough to set him straight:
Shanahan didn’t singlehandedly lose Super Bowl 51 by opting for a shotgun pass on 3rd-and-1, because the Falcons wouldn’t have made it to the game without him. He also didn’t lose Sunday’s matchup by lining Garoppolo up in a shotgun formation on a key 4th-and-1 incompletion — but it was still a poor play call with a low expected rate of success.
Technically, Shanahan did lose the 49ers’ matchup with the Seahawks by mismanaging the clock in the closing minutes of overtime. And his subsequent mismagement of the clock at the end of the first half on Sunday surely contributed to San Francisco’s loss in Baltimore.
But with Shanahan, fans have learned to take the good with the bad, since the bad is clearly overshadowed by the good the 49ers’ head coach continues to bring to the team.
However, the question remains whether Shanahan realizes his decisions are, in fact, mistakes. Given the gravity of his poor decisions in high-pressure situations, this question is sure to be answered in short order, as the pressure continues to mount as one of the NFL’s elite teams — the San Francisco 49ers — continue their 2019 playoff run.