Is Kyle Shanahan actually Fool’s gold?
Entering the halfway marker of the 2021 NFL season, questions surrounding the 49ers head coach are starting to percolate: With San Francisco 3-5 on the season, it seems as though the 49ers are caught in a state of flux when they should be competing for a Super Bowl.
To that end, with no more real excuses surrounding Shanahan and his choice of roster construction in 2021, Shanahan’s seat could be getting a little hotter if San Francisco continues to play meh football this season.
While no real decision, rumor or speculation on the future surrounding Shanahan, GM John Lynch or anyone else on the 49ers staff, the proof is in the pudding.
Kyle Shanahan’s record
Currently in his fifth year as head coach of the 49ers, Shanahan has a 32-40 overall record, not counting the playoffs.
In all, Shanahan-led teams have had a single season over .500: In 2019, when the team finished 13-3 and reached the Super Bowl, eventually losing to the Chiefs.
While Shanahan’s 49ers teams have dealt with devastating injuries in years past (and, sometimes, devastating QB play), the 2021 season is as complete of a year from a roster standpoint as the 49ers have had in some time. Here’s how Shanahan’s record has broken down year by year:
Of course, stats without context are just numbers, and a fair amount of San Francisco’s struggles can be attached to QB volatility:
— The still-rebuilding 49ers went 6-10 in 2017. The team traded for Garoppolo midway through the season, and would start him late in the season, going 5-0 in games he started to end the year.
— In 2018, Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, missing the majority of the season.
— Shanahan’s third season at the helm was his most successful: With a healthy Garoppolo and a top-tier rushing attack (oh, and a top-ranked defense), the 49ers reached Super Bowl 54, eventually losing to the Chiefs.
— Shanahan’s fourth season was similar to that of 2018: Jimmy GQ missed the majority of the season while recovering from ankle injuries, the 49ers finished 6-10.
— The 49ers are off to a less-than inspiring 2021 season, though the team is currently fielding one of the league’s worst defenses.
In addition to Shanahan’s less-than stellar overall record, the 49ers have had a rough go of it in the division since 2017: Overall, the 49ers have 9-17 record in the NFC West including an 0-3 start to the 2021 season.
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