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Don’t Blame Nick Mullens, Blame Kyle Shanahan

Gilbert Brink
Dec 20, 2020 at 2:34 PM


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Nick Mullens is responsible for putting the final bullet in the 49ers' 2020 season. Throwing two fourth-quarter interceptions, Mullens obliterated any shred of hope the 49ers had been holding onto for this season. It is easy to do it, but don't blame Nick Mullens. Nick is who he is, a mediocre backup quarterback who turns over the ball entirely too much. Kyle Shanahan knows this. That is why the blame should fall completely on his shoulders.

Kyle Shanahan is the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. No matter how much some people want to excuse him of his responsibilities, Shanahan is supposed to be accountable for this team in all forms and facets of the game. I know all of you love the injury excuse; it is by far Shanahan's favorite part of the job as well, but it's nonsense. The Cowboys came into this game missing their franchise quarterback and star running back and still managed to beat the 49ers with an ensemble of backups. Why did the 49ers lose this game? Why did the defending NFC champions lose to a 4-9 Cowboys team that they were favored to beat on the road? Look no further than the awful decision making of Kyle Michael Shanahan.

Prior to Sunday, Nick Mullens was responsible for six touchdowns and nine turnovers in the last five games the 49ers played. Kyle Shanahan did his best tough-guy act during the week when he said, "Nick, first and foremost, if he wants to stay out there, he's got to stop turning the ball over."

Nick didn't stop turning over the ball. In fact, he fumbled the ball early in the game and was responsible for a total of three turnovers throughout the contest. He stunk. Mullens once again cost the 49ers dearly, and Shanahan stuck by him the whole time.

The time for talking is over. Shanahan is losing any sense of credibility he had. There has been a through-line for the 49ers this season; it has been a complete and utter absence for the sense of urgency. The 49ers meander through games, turn over the ball, and look back on the results with a sullen disposition. There is plenty of handwringing, yet no decisive action when it is needed. Surely coach Shanahan will lament the three turnovers, citing them as the reason the 49ers cannot compete. He will take no responsibility for continuing to put players on the field who have a known history of turning over the ball. That would be silly.

The 49ers started 2020 behind the 8 ball. The injuries they suffered made their path to the playoffs incredibly difficult. Sadly, when you look at the contests played, despite the injuries, the 49ers could easily be 8-6 right now instead of 5-9. Losses to the Eagles, WFT, and Cowboys were all avoidable. The stubbornness of Kyle Shanahan has cost the 49ers dearly. Watching Nick Mullens be trotted out the last two weeks is all you need to know. The head coach of the San Francisco 49ers did not put the team in the best position to win. It was obvious this team needed a change, some sort of spark to light the fire. Shanahan stuck with the quarterback who would play it safe long enough until he blew the game.

The 49ers now sit at 5-9, completely out of the playoff picture, and looking for answers all across the roster. Many fans want a new quarterback. Who can blame them? The fans have suffered through a miserable year at the quarterback position. Kyle Shanahan has had success with only one quarterback, and everyone else (Brian Hoyer, C.J. Beathard, Nick Mullens) has been an abject failure. No matter who handles the snap, Kyle Shanahan can't win with any of them. This year serves as a reminder of how the offensive genius doesn't seem so brilliant without the beleaguered quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. The Dallas Cowboys have one of the worst defenses in football, and yet the 49ers couldn't exploit that porous unit to pull off a win today. At some point, it's quite clear. It isn't the magician who is magical. It's his wand.

Now, 49ers fans are left with what? Hoping the team loses enough games so that Shanahan can get a stab at choosing a quarterback early in the draft? Let's not forget, he had the first crack at Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in 2017, but he chose to hold off for a chance to ink Kirk Cousins to a humongous deal while trading up for C.J. Beathard in the third round. The truth is, it's time for Shanahan to learn a lesson in humility. You don't have all the answers. If you did, you wouldn't have just lost a back-breaking game to the terrible Dallas Cowboys.
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.


1 Comment

  • The Mission
    Hallelhauh ! Finally telling it the way it is ! Where is the coaching ? and putting the team in the best position to win.
    Dec 20, 2020 at 7:09 PM
    2


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