The 49ers set up the Rams’ game-tying field goal drive in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game with a punt in Rams territory on fourth-and-2. Kyle Shanahan never even considered going for it.
Shanahan admitted after the game that he was never thinking of going for it, even when he sent the offense onto the field to attempt to get the Rams to jump offside.
“We were never thinking about going for that,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan should have thought about it: A two-yard gain would have given the 49ers first-and-10 at the Rams’ 43-yard line, and they would have been only a few more yards from getting into range for a Robbie Gould field goal. So why didn’t he think about it?
“We just didn’t want to,” he said. “We were up three points and didn’t think it was the right decision.”
The analytics models said it wasn’t even close: The 49ers should have gone for it. Shanahan didn’t. And he lost.