Kyle Shanahan doesn't often admit he has a regret from a game he coached, but on Monday, he did say he wished he could have one particular play call back from 49ers' 30-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.
Midway through the second quarter, the Packers turned it over on downs on the 49ers’ 3-yard line. Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense started to piece together their longest drive of the game and made it nearly to midfield when the head coach had a choice to make.
On first down, Garoppolo was sacked for a loss of seven yards, and the offense faced a second-and-17 situation. On the following play, the quarterback found George Kittle in the middle of the field and the All-Pro tight end fought for three yards after the catch, just one yard shy of a first down.
On the ensuing play, Alex Mack snapped the ball early after being triggered by hearing the Packers' defensive line call. The rest of the offense was not ready for the call and after the botched play, Shanahan called for the punt team to take the field.
“That’s the one a regret a ton,” Shanahan said on Monday via conference call. “I knew the whole time we had two downs there. Had that play called on third-and-1 and knew I was going to the quarterback sneak you saw in the third quarter. I knew I was going to that on fourth down.
“But on the third-and-1, I’m a little far away from it watching from behind. I thought we lost a yard and a half on the play so I definitely didn’t want to call the call that I had on the fourth-and-2. Trey Sermon did a good job getting back to the line of scrimmage and I should have stayed with my original feeling.”
Games are filled with could-have, should-have scenarios, but the 49ers' head coach rarely admits his. Instead of giving Garoppolo the chance to extend the drive, the punt led to a nine-play, 60-yard touchdown drive that gave the Packers a 17-0 lead.