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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan Had His Peter Pan Moment

Brian Renick
Nov 16, 2021 at 1:37 PM

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One of my favorite movies as a child was the 1991 classic Hook, a Steven Spielberg-directed sequel to the Peter Pan story, starring Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan.

The premise of the movie, for those that haven't seen it, follows an adult Peter Pan as he returns to Neverland to rescue his children from the still Pan-obsessed Captain James Hook. The Lost Boys, the group of perpetual children that Pan led while still in Neverland, do not recognize the now grown-up Peter Pan, nor does he remember his time there. Midway through the movie, after an epic, and colorful food fight, a Lost Boy named Pockets stands in front of a kneeling Peter Pan, playing with his face until he realizes, and exclaims, "oh, there you are Peter."

I couldn't help but think about this scene as I was watching the 49ers absolutely dismantle the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football.

Oh, there you are, Kyle.

The 49ers turned back the clock to 2019 as they ran roughshod over a Rams defense that had no answers against an offense that ran the ball 44 times for 156 yards, ate up 39:03 of possession, and scored over 30 points for the first time since they hung 41 on the Detroit Lions in Week 1.

For much of the season, the 49er offense has looked lost. They have struggled to find an identity, especially on the ground, which is the bedrock of Kyle Shanahan's offensive system. The lack of run game has kept the offense stuck in 1st gear and has led to some ugly losses to start the season. That was not the case on Monday night.

The offense put together an eighteen-play, 93-yard drive on their opening possession, eating up 11:03 of the 1st quarter and capped by a Jimmy Garoppolo touchdown pass to tight end George Kittle. That drive consisted of thirteen runs, and five passes, three of which were third-down conversions, including the TD pass to Kittle. Garoppolo and the offense followed that drive up with another long, bruising, 11 play, 91-yard touchdown drive that took up 7:52 of game clock.

The 49ers only had two possessions in the first half, but they scored 14 points off those possessions and held the ball for 18:55 of the possible 30:00. No matter how you slice it, that is utter domination.

This is the team, and offense, that fans expected to see this season. A team that runs the ball effectively, keeps their quarterback out of dangerous situations by maintaining manageable distances on third down and wears down their opponent in the trenches. The 49ers imposed their will on the Rams defense all night, and no play was more emblematic of that than this block that George Kittle had on Von Miller:

Kyle Shanahan has taken his fair share of heat for the way this season has unfolded. Most of that heat has been for personnel decisions, but there has been some fair questioning about the lack of rhythm he's had as a play-caller as well. He found that rhythm on Monday Night, and the team looked like what many fans and analysts thought they would look like this season.

Kyle Shanahan was in his bag, and it was a welcome sight to see.

Oh, there you are, Kyle.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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1 Comment

  • Q
    That's weird
    Nov 16, 2021 at 6:50 PM


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