Kyle Shanahan relives his Super Bowl nightmare as 49ers collapse yet again

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LAS VEGAS – Kyle Shanahan with a 10-point lead in a Super Bowl?

Given the history, this is not what the casinos on The Strip would call playing with house money.

Uh-oh. It happened again.

The San Francisco 49ers not only fell 25-22 to the Kansas City Chiefs in an overtime thriller in Super Bowl 58, but they did it the hard way, blowing a double-digit lead.

Yes, history has repeated itself. The Chiefs rallied from a 10-point deficit the last time the teams met in a Super Bowl four years ago, and they’ve done it again in becoming first repeat Super Bowl champion in 19 years.

For Shanahan, the 49ers coach, it’s another layer added to the narrative that he can’t be trusted with a lead in the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl 51, as offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, he was part of a unit that blew a 28-3 lead against the New England Patriots before falling in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history.

Now Shanahan’s on the losing end of the second overtime game in Super Bowl history, too.

This time, the 49ers and their faithful will rue the weird stuff. Consider: Linebacker Dre Greenlaw was knocked out of the game with a serious Achilles injury, which occurred as he was running on the field to start a defensive series. The Chiefs’ first touchdown was set up by a weird bounce on a punt, as the ball ricocheted off Darrell Luter and was recovered at the 49ers’ 16-yard line. And perhaps the game may have never gone to overtime if 49ers rookie kicker Jake Moody didn’t have a PAT kick blocked.

Although the bottom-line pattern is disturbing enough for Shanahan, the latest setback came with a different flavor. Shanahan stayed aggressive, going for it on a fourth-and-3 early in the fourth quarter that led to a touchdown. And he opened the go-ahead field goal drive late in the fourth quarter by attacking the Chiefs defense. The 49ers led late in the fourth quarter and in overtime – and still lost.

That’s what can happen when Patrick Mahomes is on the other side.

Leads can evaporate in a flash. Which brings up another pattern: Mahomes was the quarterback on the other side in two of the blown leads that involved Shanahan. And Tom Brady was the other quarterback.

Shanahan was in range of making history by joining his father, Mike, as the first father-son duo to coach Super Bowl winners.

That distinction is still on hold. Maybe it’ll have to happen with a big comeback.

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