Another collapse? I’m shocked…

Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, February 4, 2020

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Kyle Shanahan called for the 49ers to run the football 22 times Sunday night.

Shanahan was calling plays for the Atlanta Falcons three years ago in Super Bowl 51. He had Matt Ryan throwing the ball when he should have been chewing clock. Consequently, the opposing New England Patriots overcame a 28-3 deficit.

With 7 minutes left in Super Bowl 54, against the most electric offense and quarterback in the NFL, Shanahan did it again.

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The 49ers only ran the ball 22 times.

Twenty. Two. Times.

Like how a good poem rhymes, so does history. The Kansas City Chiefs overcame a 20-10 deficit, throwing up 21 points in less than 7 minutes, to win the Super Bowl.

I can’t fathom how this could happen. Jimmy Garappolo is a questionable quarterback, with a whole lot of unknowns despite a decent three seasons in San Francisco. Instead of leaning into their dominant run game—against one of the worst running defenses in the league—you have Jimmy G. throwing deep balls.

That wasn’t the time to put all the pressure in the world on your quarterback’s shoulders, Shanahan. Goodness gracious almighty, every man, woman and child with two eyes and half a brain could’ve told you that.

It may sound like I’m frustrated. Trust me, I’m not! Watching the Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs stage a glorious comeback against the 49ers was cathartic. I simply can’t believe no lessons were learned by Shanahan. How bigger an opportunity to get a ring could you possibly have? Even with the Falcons collapse, the Patriots had a full 17 minutes to stage the comeback. Sunday night, it took the Chiefs less than 7 minutes to score roughly the same amount of points.

Other than that, this year’s Super Bowl was unspectacular and kind of boring. I didn’t really pay attention to the commercials, the halftime show has been dissected into a million clips and memes on my Twitter feed, and there was a certain gravitas missing from the game. Maybe I’m getting old? I do take way more vitamins than I used to…

I still savored every millisecond of it. I had to, because now football is official over. I’m already counting down the days until football season starts again.

It’s 160 days, to be exact.

Not even the allure of spring games, the return of the XFL, a promising Braves baseball season and all the distractions of summer can keep me from daydreaming about that first kickoff in August.