Kyle Shanahan defends not trying to score at end of first half, says he wanted to avoid a turnover

San Francisco 49ers v Tennessee Titans
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The 49ers did not try to score at the end of the first half on Thursday night, instead just letting the clock run down and going into the locker room with a 10-0 lead. That came back to haunt them in a game they would lose 20-17.

But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan defended the decision after the game, saying that late in the first half with the ball on their own side of the field, he thought the risk of a turnover was greater than the chance that they could get into field goal range.

“It’s just, there was 19 seconds. I didn’t want to lead to a turnover and give them a chance to get anything,” Shanahan said.

Many observers interpreted Shanahan’s decision as a lack of confidence in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Asked if Garoppolo’s play factored into the decision, Shanahan answered, “No.”

Whatever the reasons for Shanahan’s decision, it was a costly one. Although there’s always a risk of a turnover, getting into field goal range was absolutely possible, and Shanahan surely wishes today that he had tried to get three more points in a game his team lost by three.

20 responses to “Kyle Shanahan defends not trying to score at end of first half, says he wanted to avoid a turnover

  1. Aka “I don’t trust Jimmy G to not screw things up.”

    Looking like McVay coaching Goff; “how do I win in spite of all my QBs limitations”

  2. “Anytime a coach plays “not to lose,” you lose. Trust me. Look what happened to me in Green Bay.”
    -Mike McCarthy

  3. He’s proving to be just a mediocre coach. He totally blew the super bowl against the Patriots when he was the OC for Atlanta and has a losing record for the 49ers. It may be time to move on.

  4. Many observers interpreted Shanahan’s decision as a lack of confidence in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Asked if Garoppolo’s play factored into the decision, Shanahan answered, “No.”

    ===============

    Yes. No one gives up with that much time left on the clock unless they are afraid, very afraid.

  5. Shannahan let the offensive boy genius label gets in his head. So was McVay (beat down by BB in SB), at least he seemed to have learned a lesson. Kliff Kingsbury is next?????

  6. Did Shannahan fall for BB’s double head fakes or Shannahan fake himself out in drafting North Dakota State QB Trey Lance?

  7. I guess at this point Shanahan should just start glaring at the post-game media like his father did whenever he lost a game and was being asked to explain.

  8. Of course he was afraid of a turnover. Their QB isn’t affectionately known as Int. Jimmy G for nuttin’!

  9. Analytics nerds that have never played a down their entire lives always question in hindsight. A coach has a feel for his team. Shanahan felt it wasn’t worth the risk with such little time left in the first half. Just let it go.

  10. shanahan: “it’s just there was 19 seconds”. Not exactly, there was almost a minute left when you started to choke. If you look at the clock management, it’s like the team on the field had no captain on the sideline. They had plenty of time to position themselves for a field goal.

  11. Of course, you cannot point to a first half decision in a 3 point game and say; “we would have gone to overtime”. Nope. The game always plays out differently with different scores.

  12. Titans ball at SF 31 with 1:20 left. Titans make SF use all their TO’s while they run the ball three straight times to kick the game winning FG. Now, let’s pretend SF had kicked a FG in the first half. Would the Titans play the game the same? Of course not. They absolutely would have been aggressive and tried to win the game, only kicking a FG if the drive stalled. So, we cannot tell what might have happened because the 49ers didn’t go aggressive in half one.

  13. When fear introduces your mind to conservative play calling at any time of a game, you are beginning to lose !!

  14. Shanahan double telling himself back to being an OC on a team wieh a Real quarterback. Season over

  15. Very poor decision making by a lot of HCs this season especially here in the last few weeks, how many teams have lost games by either going fo it on 4th down and turning the ball over(some 3 or 4 times in a game) or not taking the FG when they had the chance?

  16. What was he going to do? Throw another interception while trying to get the ball into the end zone? Oops. My bad!

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