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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Kyle Shanahan blows another big Super Bowl lead

Three years ago, Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons team that suffered the worst collapse in Super Bowl history. Sunday night’s collapse was not quite as bad, but Super Bowl LIV saw Shanahan’s team end up on the wrong end of another big comeback.

Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers had a 20-10 lead when they punted the ball away with 8:53 left in the fourth quarter. Six minutes later, the Niners were behind after back-to-back Kansas City touchdown drives, and the Niners were unable to come back in what ultimately turned out to be a 31-20 loss.

That fourth quarter, combined with what happened three years ago against the New England Patriots, means Shanahan’s fourth quarter and overtime record in his two Super Bowl appearances is now astonishingly one-sided.

The win probabilities of Shanahan’s two Super Bowl appearances demonstrate just how unprecedented both collapses were, with the Niners being given a 95.3 percent chance of victory about midway through the fourth quarter Sunday.

Not all of this is down to Shanahan, but this is going to start following him around even more than it did before. It could be argued that his very conservative playcalling to end the first half deprived San Francisco of possible points that they needed later. That will be questioned, but all of it will come together to form a narrative. That narrative will likely be that not only can Shanahan not win the big one, but he and his teams are chokers. Fair or not, that’s going to start to persist until he wins the big one.

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