3 lessons Kyle Shanahan must learn after (another) 49ers Super Bowl loss

Fair or not, Kyle Shanahan will receive a lot of blame for the 49ers' latest Super Bowl loss. These are several lessons he can learn from this defeat.

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Lesson No. 2: Run the ball more

This is a common critique of Kyle Shanahan. People believe he needed to run the ball more in the second half of the Falcons' Super Bowl loss, and people believe he needed to run the ball more late in the first Super Bowl against the Chiefs. People believe he should have run it more in the latest Super Bowl loss as well.

On the surface, it is easy to understand why. He had the best running back in the NFL at his disposal, and he only handed him the football 22 times in essentially five quarters of play. Plus, a good number of those were in the overtime period, so the number was closer to 15 by the end of regulation.

What was odd was that for a long stretch of the game, Shanahan seemed to repeatedly call pass plays on first down. Even when they were not working and the 49ers kept getting behind the sticks, he would call pass plays. I understand the desire to not become predictable and run it with All-Pro Christian McCaffrey on first down every time, but it does not hurt to do it every now and then. Even if the defense is expecting the run, if you run McCaffrey to the left side and have left tackle Trent Williams and tight end George Kittle blocking for him, the opposing defense may not be able to stop it.

Shanahan has forgotten more about offensive game plans and scheming than I will ever learn, so I am not trying to make it seem like I am an expert on any of this.

But there were definitely points in the game where it seemed like San Francisco could have benefited from giving McCaffrey the ball more often.