49ers Super Bowl LVIII takeaways: Another championship slips away from Kyle Shanahan

    The San Francisco 49ers fell just short of winning their sixth Super Bowl, losing in overtime to the Kansas City Chiefs, 25-22, in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday night.

    Here are three takeaways from the 49ers’ side of the game. 

    Kyle Shanahan can’t change the big game narrative

    Shanahan said coming into this game that he did not care about the narrative surrounding him in big games. Well, he better get used to hearing it because it’s not going away. Sunday’s loss represented yet another big game where a Shanahan-coached team let a double-digit lead slip away and turn into a crushing defeat. 

    In summary:

    He was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI when it blew a 28-3 lead and lost to the New England Patriots.

    In Super Bowl LIV his 49ers had a 10-point lead against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs with under eight minutes to play and lost by giving up 21 unanswered points. 

    Shanahan lost the 2021 NFC Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams after again holding a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter to prevent them from reaching another Super Bowl.

    On Sunday, he had a 10-point lead late in the second half and also held leads late in the fourth quarter and in overtime only to lose again. 

    It wasn’t so much that Shanahan necessarily did anything wrong on Sunday (there were some clock management issues late in the first half; deferring at the start of overtime may have been questionable given the new rules) but the facts are what they are — he has had arguably the best roster in football over the past five years and not only does not have a Super Bowl ring to show for it, his teams have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. 

    49ers mistakes added up

    While Shanahan may not have made many obvious mistakes, his team made plenty.

    They started on the first drive of the game when an impressive, methodical drive that looked like it was destined for points ended with a fumble and a turnover. 

    That was nothing compared to the muffed punt in the third quarter that set Kansas City up deep in San Francisco territory, resulting in a one-play touchdown drive to give the Chiefs their first lead of the game. 

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