No. 1: Kyle Shanahan deserves to be questioned, criticized
Pick a few moments throughout the game, and you should be able to identify some things were Kyle Shanahan gaffed. Or, at the very least, failed to take advantage of what was working for him.
Granted, Shanahan couldn’t prevent Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury, and perhaps that led to Garoppolo’s day being a mere so-so performance, although Jimmy G didn’t exactly look either solid or terrible. Just OK, which has become the norm for him.
But chew on this: The Niners averaged 4.7 yards per rush in the first half, and running back Trey Sermon was finally having some success against what was ranked as the worst run defense in the NFL entering Week 4, according to Football Outsiders.
Shanahan continued to play conservative, though, deciding to fall somewhere between pounding the ball on the ground against a suspect Seattle defense and letting Garoppolo, then Lance, make low-risk passes at predictable moments on third downs.
The net result? A painful 2-of-14 third-down conversion rate.
“I was disappointed,” Shanahan said of the first half. “I think it was like 220 yards to 80, so when it’s like that, you definitely want to have more points to show for it.”
Shanahan should have either stuck with a ground-and-pound offense, which was working on a hot day, or he should have not played scared with his third-down offense.
Instead, the opposite happened. And San Francisco now finds itself in last place within the NFC West a quarter of the way through the 2021 season.