49ers studs, duds from Week 5 loss vs. Cardinals
By Peter Panacy
49ers Dud: Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
There are going to be a lot of Xs and Os experts questioning and criticizing Kyle Shanahan’s efforts in Week 5, and much of that is going to use the offense’s struggles from earlier in the year as support, too.
Perhaps Shanahan’s offense has gone vanilla. Or, just as possibly, he’s overthinking himself instead of sticking to the proverbial “bread and butter” of what’s worked for him previously.
Case in point, only 12 of Shanahan’s non-Trey Lance run calls were part of the offense in what was mostly no more than a one-score game for all four quarters. This, despite the Cardinals entering the game allowing 5.4 rush yards per carry, which was next to worst in the NFL entering Week 5. The fact running back Elijah Mitchell had 4.8 yards per carry but saw only nine rush attempts says a lot.
Maybe the fluky fourth-down sneak attempt by fullback Kyle Juszczyk that failed should have been called into question, too.
At any rate, let’s look at the numbers. Shanahan’s offense went 3-of-11 on third downs, 1-of-5 on fourth-down tries and still mustered just the 10 points despite outgaining and outpossessing the Cardinals in the game.
Perhaps Shanahan has to simplify things. Or maybe instill a spark by naming Lance the full-time starter.
Either way, the head coach deserves a large share of the criticism for all that went wrong in Week 5.