LAS VEGAS – Coach Kyle Shanahan’s third trip to the Super Bowl ended the same as his first two: a major disappointment after another last-minute blown lead.
The San Francisco 49ers coach has developed an offense that teams around the league try to imitate and has a vast coaching tree that makes him one of the most influential figures in the game at the young age of 44.
He just doesn’t have a Super Bowl title after San Francisco blew two late leads and lost 25-22 in overtime to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
That follows a 10-point lead blown by Shanahan’s 49ers in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl four years ago against Kansas City and an even bigger collapse in the 2016 season when he was offensive coordinator. The Falcons blew 25 points that game and lost 34-28 in overtime to New England.
The latter might be the hardest to swallow as the 49ers had the best team in the league for most of the season and seemed poised to give Shanahan his first championship.
But the Niners blew a 10-point first-half lead and then couldn’t hold on to a pair of three-point leads late, making Shanahan the first head coach to blow two double-digit leads in the Super Bowl.
His 49ers also blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter of the 2021 NFC title game against the Rams, tying him for the most double-digit leads blown by a coach in NFL history.
Mahomes scored a game-tying field goal in the final 1:53 of regulation and then a game-winning touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman in overtime after Shanahan opted to take the ball first in the extra session.
The Niners were only able to muster a Jake Moody field goal when Chris Jones forced Brock Purdy to throw an incomplete pass on third-and-4 from the 9.
San Francisco’s defense then failed to stop Mahomes, allowing him to convert a fourth and third down with his legs.
Mahomes then sent the Niners home with a loss when he found Mecole Hardman wide open after faking through the moving formation and reversing the field.
Mahomes and the Chiefs have now handed Shanahan’s 49ers two Super Bowl losses in the last five seasons, as the dynastic franchise of the 1980s and ’90s has gone 29 consecutive seasons without winning a title.
Now Shanahan must hope to follow the path of his father, Mike, who lost his first three trips to the Super Bowl, all as an assistant in Denver, before winning one as coordinator of the 49ers in the 1994 season and consecutive titles for the Broncos in 1997-98.