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Kyle Shanahan on 49ers Week 1 win: “It wasn’t our best performance”

Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 13, 2023 at 4:46 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, winning to the tune of 30-7. The team started off hot, scoring on each of their first four drives and forcing five consecutive three-and-outs to begin the game.

However, not everyone saw the game the same way. I'm referring to head coach Kyle Shanahan, who spoke about the team's performance on Tuesday, potentially surprising some by sharing that the tape wasn't as great as many inferred.

"I mean, usually it's off the tape and the tape to me wasn't totally what everyone thinks. It wasn't our best performance," Shanahan said.

What exactly was the head coach referring to?

Shanahan felt that there were a couple of lucky breaks that the 49ers got, including their mishap at the end of the first half, where the offense couldn't get points on the board, allowing Pittsburgh to record their lone scoring drive of the half, as well as other miscues.

"There's a lot of things in there that could have gone a different way. A bunch," Shanahan said. "The way we ended at the second quarter not scoring on offense, not running the clock out before we gave it back to them. Giving up an 80-yard drive before half, giving up a 40-yarder on the third-and-one, possible touchdown on the third play of the game, fortunately, they missed it. They tried to come back to it like four times, but they got the wrong coverages then. There's lots of stuff that goes into it, but sometimes games just get away and it got away real fast because we broke a 60-yarder on play two in the third quarter, and after that it was pretty easy."

A potential area of improvement could've been cornerback play, as Shanahan said that differences in the game had the 49ers adjust, subbing in Isaiah Oliver for Ambry Thomas, which kicked Deommodore Lenoir outside for the second half. However, Shanahan wouldn't reveal the specifics behind the issues he saw, although it likely alluded to certain mishaps Thomas had in coverage.

"Things dictate the change. We thought they'd all play in the game, but stuff happened in the game that has us adjust," Shanahan said. "Stuff that's between me and our team. Just watch the film. You might be able to figure it out. Stuff I can't say, sorry."

However, the 49ers will certainly take a victory of such a margin, kicking off their season strong with a 30-7 victory, which provides a good baseline for the team as they travel to SoFi Stadium to face the Los Angeles Rams on the road in Week 2.

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