Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers suffered heartbreak in the Super Bowl last year. The 49ers entered the tie as one of the favorites to win the Lombardi Trophy. Three quarters into the game, it looked like they would live up to that tag with a 20-10 lead over their opponents. However, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs had other plans.
With 8:53 on the clock, the Chiefs went on to score three TDs and win Super Bowl LIV in Miami. It was a tough pill to swallow for Shanahan and Co. as they ended their 2019 season on a sour note.
Five months after that day, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan gave his account of the game while talking to Chris Simms.
“Right when they got that third-and 15, because I thought it was over to me if they didn’t get that. And right when they got that, I knew it wasn’t over. I knew it was a game.”
“When you can have two possessions with no worry about the time — like, the clock isn’t a deal to me — and it would have been three possessions if they didn’t get that first down. And that’s when the clock was a deal. But once they got that, I was like, ‘All right, this is a game now,’ ” Shanahan told Simms on Unbuttoned.
Shanahan went on to talk about how the likes of George Kittle and Chris Jones worked hard in the middle but luck wasn’t on their side.
“We could have ended it. We had [George] Kittle uncovered, and Chris Jones made a hell of a play and tipped it. They brought the SAM-MIKE corner blitz to a 3-by-1 slot and we flooded the other way, which you can’t cover all that — Kittle was uncovered — and he just got his hands up and tipped it.
“And then we didn’t convert the third down, and that’s when I was like, ‘All right, now the momentum has changed.’ Because now it’s just one score, and they are moving,” Shanahan concluded.