The 49ers’ fairy tale season came to an ignominious end Sunday night in Miami, crushed to death at the fifty yard line as Jimmy Garoppolo stood motionless, unable or unwilling to throw the ball on fourth and ten with the season on the line and the Chiefs closing in from all sides.
Another fourth quarter melt down from HC Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers scored in each of the first three quarters and played brilliant defense, too. In the final quarter, they did neither. Even so, they got the ball at the end with plenty of time to march down the field and win the game, just like Joe Montana did in the same stadium in 1988. But they didn’t even get past midfield.
It’s easy and fair to say the better team won, the better HC won, and the better QB won. Still, there’s no escaping that the Niners had control of the game entering the fourth quarter and then they lost control of it – on defense and on offense. Kansas City was ready for prime time and the 49ers were not.
After twenty years of trying and failing, Chiefs HC Andy Reid finally won his first Super Bowl. Along the way, he endured an endless stream of the kind of criticism now being heaped on Shanahan. We’ll see how long it takes Shanahan to get the monkey off his back, if he ever does and if some of us are still alive by then.