In last week’s 49ers game, Kyle Shanahan faced off with the man he worked under for two seasons in Atlanta where he was the offensive coordinator, Dan Quinn.
Week 16 brings together another pair of coaches with significant experience working together, as Shanahan will do battle with Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay.
McVay and Shanahan were both first on Jon Gruden’s staff in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers, then McVay worked under Shanahan as the tight ends coach while Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in Washington.
For two of the youngest head coaches in the NFL, Sunday’s 49ers-Rams game will be an important chess match with playoff seeding implications on the line.
“There’s a lot of common knowledge in this,” NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms said. “Can you foresee like ‘oh, we did this really well, so I think now they’re gonna do this to stop it’ and you gotta be prepared to have that next thing that ‘ok they’ve stopped that, what is that next thing gonna be.’”
The first time around, the 49ers beat L.A. 20-7 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum behind a dominant defensive performance, as San Francisco’s defense shut the Rams offense out over the final three quarters.
"It makes life hard when you play a team twice a year," Simms continued. "
Sunday’s game brings together two of the best minds in football, and McVay will be locked in to try and exact some revenge on his former colleague.