49ers coaching staff can’t afford to keep disappointing

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers’ Week 13 loss to the Seahawks was just one example of how Kyle Shanahan and the coaching staff haven’t quite been up to par this season.

The 2021 San Francisco 49ers are having such a roller-coaster season, it’s truly difficult to properly gauge the state of the franchise.

After a shaky start to the year and an even more tumultuous midseason stretch, the Niners are struggling to hang onto that final playoff spot in the NFC postseason picture. They currently have a 6-6 record and a flimsy grip on the seventh seed in the NFC race.

Coming into its Week 13 game versus the Seattle Seahawks, many believed San Francisco finally restored its excellence after riding the wave of a three-game win streak. Unfortunately, Seattle still has the formidable combo of head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson. And, for one reason or another, the Seahawks always seem to get an extra pep in their step when playing the 49ers. Since Wilson was drafted by Seattle in 2012, the Seahawks have a 15-4 record versus San Francisco.

Their most recent contest was probably the most demoralizing one to date.

The 49ers had everything going for them as they entered the Week 13 clash with their old nemesis. They had a ton of momentum behind a few dominant performances. The bruising run game they rode so successfully through the 2019 playoffs appeared to have been reborn and ready for full operation. The vaunted defense of years past seemed to have returned, but only for a brief moment in 2021.

Everything the Niners worked so hard to correct and improve upon was shattered in a matter of 60 minutes. Perhaps the opening kickoff injury to running back/special teams ace Trenton Cannon could’ve been seen as a bad omen for things to come.

With Cannon going down due to injury, San Francisco turned to veteran wide receiver Travis Benjamin. Benjamin hasn’t seen much action this year, which is probably the reason for his second-half fumbled kickoff return.

Nevertheless, professionally paid athletes are supposed to be ready for any given moment at the drop of a dime. And the coaching staff, including head coach Kyle Shanahan and special teams coordinator Richard Hightower, are ultimately responsible for putting their players in a position to succeed.

Prior to Week 13, San Francisco was doing a much better job at protecting the ball and avoiding those costly penalties and turnovers. Everything that could go wrong versus the Seahawks went completely wrong. That included, a sack-safety given up, a 73-yard fake punt touchdown run, a missed extra point by a solid veteran kicker, three brutal turnovers, 10 penalties for over 80 yards and a partridge in a pear tree.

That said, the 49ers are still very much in the playoff mix and have five games left to solidify their spot. With a Week 14 trip to Cincinnati to face a potent Bengals offense, San Francisco needs to bring its A-game, or postseason aspirations will be put on hold for another year.

5 pending 49ers free agents who have earned new contracts. dark. Next