Coming off a three-game skid and a bye week has left loads of time for followers to grow to be harsh critics of Shanahan’s each transfer; his roster-building, his depth chart dealing with, and his playcalling. Whereas there are honest complaints to be levied in every space, it’s necessary to do not forget that if simply a few performs go the opposite method in solely certainly one of these contests, the Niners could be in playoff place, and the panic button could be firmly un-pushed.
It could have felt just like the wheels have been spinning within the mud for a month now, however there was a constructive development in Shanahan’s model, which has lengthy represented a blind spot for the coach. Going for it on fourth-down or the shortage thereof has burned this group on either side of the ball below his tenure.
Most famously, the Chiefs determined to name again the sphere purpose unit and roll out the offense for an additional attempt at crossing the purpose line halfway by way of the first quarter of the Tremendous Bowl. The clip of Mahomes begging to get again on the sphere and taking “Rose Bowl Proper Parade” into the endzone shall be retweeted for infinity.
Notably, after Reid’s change of thoughts, George Kittle set free a defeated “rattling” on the sidelines. The lesson? In case your opponent is joyful to make you accept a kick or a punt, don’t settle.
Sadly, for the higher a part of 4 seasons and alter, the 49ers have been content material to settle. Between 2018-2020, they’ve completed second to final, second to final, and fifth to final in makes an attempt on fourth down. Tangibly, this misplaced 3.5 factors of win likelihood per recreation final yr. For somebody so forward-thinking and progressive, that’s quite a lot of horsepower to depart within the barn.
To his credit score, even Shanahan has been crucial of his personal decisions as of late, expressing remorse over a punt towards the Packers from the Inexperienced Bay 49 yard line with 5 minutes left within the second quarter down 10 factors.
Due to the Twitter account Surrender Index, which quantifies the cowardice of kicking, we all know that this ranked within the 93rd percentile of all cowardly punts this yr.
Moreover, the coach appeared to observe by way of on his new ethos towards the Cardinals. When offered with seven conditions to both punt or kick, the 49ers despatched out Mitch Wishnowsky solely twice and saved the offense on the market the opposite 5 occasions. That matched their season complete as much as that time, and even with the early bye week, they nonetheless rank within the prime ten in makes an attempt this season.
Now, they’ve solely transformed on half of these tries, however that may work itself out the extra they go for it, and, frankly, it’s the chance you run. The perfect groups get stopped nearly 40 % of the time. Nonetheless, a very powerful factor shall be weighing the optionS and never being too afraid to make the dangerous name.
It’s time to remain the course and preserve this aggressive mindset to win soccer video games. This group goes to wish each benefit doable because the season continues.