When it comes to leads in the Super Bowl, bad luck seems to follow 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
During his tenure as Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, the team jumped out to a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI, before Tom Brady and the New England Patriots scored 31 unanswered points and won 34-31 in overtime.
Fast forward three years, Shanahan once again led a team to the Super Bowl and jumped out to a 20-10 lead, before Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied to win Super Bowl LIV 31-20 at Hard Rock Stadium.
Sunday’s loss places Shanahan in some unfortunate company.
The Chiefs win their 2nd Super Bowl in franchise history and 1st in 50 seasons.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 3, 2020
Their 10-point comeback is tied for the 2nd-largest in a Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/RfYlCDrREb
Kyle Shanahan has been oustcored 46-0 in the 4th quarter and OT in his 2 Super Bowls as an OC or head coach— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) February 3, 2020
With a little more than seven and a half minutes remaining, San Francisco was a virtual lock to win the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl title.
I'm going to be sick pic.twitter.com/dwuJ7a8Fm2— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) February 3, 2020
Many pointed to Shanahan's propensity to pass as the reason the Patriots were able to climb back and beat his Falcons. Once again in 2020, the 49ers elected to throw the ball with the game on the line.
After Kansas City cut the 49ers' lead to 20-17 with six minutes to play, the 49ers began the drive with a hand-off to Raheem Mostert, picking up five important yards on first down.
The next two plays, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had an incompletion to tight end George Kittle and an incompletion to wideout Kendrick Bourne. The Niners were forced to punt, and burned just over a minute off the game clock.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Shanahan wasn’t in charge of the defense during his time with the Falcons, so he can’t be entirely to blame for that blown lead.
However, this loss likely will haunt both Shanahan and the 49ers faithful everywhere throughout the offseason.