Again, the San Francisco 49ers came up a couple short of getting the Super Bowl title, losing 25–22 to Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium.
After the loss, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan responded to some important decisions he made in overtime that ultimately did not go well with San Francisco.
On the first possession of overtime, the 49ers faced fourth-and-4 from the Kansas City 9-yard line. They chose to kick a 27-yard field goal, which was a rookie Jake Moody broken through the stands.
Because of the NFL’s new playoff rules, the Chiefs are guaranteed to have one possession in overtime even if the 49ers score a touchdown. But did San Francisco think about going on fourth down trying to score six points instead of three?
“No, we never thought about it there,” Shanahan said to reporters after the game. “Fourth-and-4, even if we go and score, they can still go down and knock it down. So, no, no thought there.”
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The 49ers took a 22-19 lead before the quarterback Patrick Mahomes marched the Chiefs on a 13-play, 75-yard game-winning drive that ended in Mecole HardmanThe three-yard touchdown catch.
Before the start of overtime, Shanahan faced another important decision after the 49ers won the coin toss. Instead of letting Kansas City set the pace in overtime, the 49ers opted to go offense first to test the rarely used new playoff rules.
“That’s all we talked about,” Shanahan said. “None of us have a lot of experience, but we checked the analytics and talked to the guys. We decided it was better, we wanted the third ball.
“If the two teams are equal and score, we want to have a chance to win. We got that field goal, so we knew we had to hold it to a field goal. If we did, we thought it was in our hands after that. “
The process was there, but the results once again weren’t for Shanahan, who went 0–2 in Super Bowls as a head coach.