After the San Francisco 49ers got embarrassed by the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas, we must contend that the Niners seem to be a team that can mostly only win by getting off to good starts and playing from ahead.
Not the other way around.
Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers are incapable of coming from behind to win games
We all know the stats. Under head coach Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers are 1-32 when the team enters the fourth quarter down by three-plus points. They are 0-38 when entering the fourth quarter down by eight points or more.
These numbers are shocking given the fact that they have otherwise had good success under Shanahan.
It is only natural to wonder why San Francisco has been so incapable of coming from behind. This is especially so because when the 49ers are tied or ahead, they have had one of the most impressive offenses in football.
Perhaps it is because they have an offense that is built to play from ahead. They have an offense that, when working, imposes its will on the opponent with a solid run game and play action while playing from ahead so they do not have to take major risks.
This does not apply to when they are forced to play from behind. They are forced to call plays that they ordinarily would not if they were playing from ahead, like repeatedly dropping back to pass with quarterback Brock Purdy who threw four interceptions against the Ravens.
There was even more proof of this against Baltimore. The 49ers had to play from behind after first-quarter mistakes prevented them from taking the early lead that they usually play with.
This embarrassing loss to the Ravens does not mean that the Niners cannot win the Super Bowl. It simply means that there is likely only one way for them to win football games: blow the other team out.
Get the lead early, play from ahead, and never let it get too close. That has pretty much been the formula for every San Francisco victory this season.
They simply cannot afford to let the game get too close and, of course, cannot allow themselves to trail because Shanahan has proven time and time and time again that he just simply cannot orchestrate the plays necessary in order to lead a team back when they are trailing.