June 19, 2024

During the Super Bowl, Steve Spagnuolo consumed Kyle Shanahan’s lunch.

Somehow, Spagnuolo was able to overload the 49ers’ protection methods in the passing game while also shutting down Christian McCaffrey and their running game. Nine pass rushers who were totally unobstructed and unaccounted for were produced by the Chiefs, and these free rushers proved to be the difference in the game.

Shanahan needs to adapt now.

McCaffrey should never have been limited to just 3.6 yards per rush by the Chiefs’ poor run defense, but it was. That’s because Shanahan was unable to find a way to run into that front, and they frequently used six defenders at the line of scrimmage. In response, he called for empty formations.

Usually, Brock Purdy can beat the blitz by throwing quick passes, but the Chiefs played bump-and-run man-to-man coverage specifically to take away those easy throws, and Shanahan had no answers. Instead of countering with empty backfield formations, he could have kept additional players in to block so the offense wouldn’t get outmanned. Five wide receivers with no one in the backfield. Which means five blockers with no one to help. The Chiefs consistently took advantage of the 49ers’ protection schemes and brought one more rusher than the 49ers could block.

Alternatively, he could have allowed his quarterback to audible at the line of scrimmage as soon as he noticed the direction of the blitz. Under Kyle Shanahan, quarterbacks are not allowed to audible at this time.

Shanahan needs to figure out the answer quickly, whatever it may be.

One Thing Kyle Shanahan Needs to Improve on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *