Kyle Shanahan will shoulder the blame for Super Bowl LIV loss, but he doesn’t deserve it

The sports world has referred to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the Steph Curry of the NFL. Some have gone as far as to call him the Michael Jordan of football.

So…since when has there been shame in losing to Curry or Jordan?

The San Francisco 49ers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, 31-20. For most, the shocking part about the loss is that the Niners led 20-10 halfway into the fourth quarter.

And on Monday morning, the blame fell on Niners’ coach Kyle Shanahan.

But, while the score might have been 20-10, hindsight is always tied at 20.

Shanahan didn’t lose this thing for the Niners.

Patrick Mahomes took it from them.

Through three quarters, Shanahan – in his first-ever postseason apperance as an NFL head coach – was Bill Belichick.

His offense was clicking on all cylinders and his defense was shutting down the great Mahomes.

Through three quarters, Mahomes posted a not-so-hot 62.9 QBR.

Then, the fourth quarter happened. And it was winning time.

How could a player described as a mixture of the game’s greatest quarterbacks, who posted a QBR of 100.4 in the final frame and led his team down the field for 21 fourth quarter points, NOT be given credit for the victory?

How can we give credit to Mahomes for being clutch, then say Shanahan lost it?

To an extent, the two are mutually exclusive.

Yep…Mahomes gets compared to LeBron, too.

Do you ever really feel like LeBron James is out of a game?

No. No, you don’t.

Still, the blame is landing squarely on the shoulders of Shanahan, for not calling a timeout when the Niners were surging to end the first half, for abandoning the run in the second half, for putting the ball in Jimmy Garoppolo’s hands when the game was on the line, and for not managing the clock.

But football is a player’s game. As great as Belichick is, his greatest decisions usually involve putting the ball in Tom Brady’s hands.

Oh yeah, the other Super Bowl loss that Shanahan gets the blame for…it was against Belichick and Brady.

Simply put, the Chiefs had Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid put the ball in his hands.

The Chiefs are a puzzle that has yet to be solved.

However, Shanahan came to the closest to having the pieces in place.

He deserves credit for that.