49ers coach Kyle Shanahan in middle of loss to Chiefs

Score, Chiefs vs. 49ers play-by-play

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. —  Another grand stage, another letdown, and more second-guessing that will hang over Kyle Shanahan for an offseason.

The third-year San Francisco head coach had seemingly pushed all of the right buttons while steering his team to a 13-3 record and a postseason run that put the 49ers in the Super Bowl.

But after erasing a first-half deficit and taking a second-half lead, Shanahan saw another shot at a Lombardi Trophy slip from his grasp as the Kansas City Chiefs came back to win 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. 

Once again, an offense under his direction couldn’t seal the deal despite a season’s worth of work that had drawn rave reviews.

The circumstances were different this time around. 

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49ers coach Kyle Shanahan

Unlike Super Bowl LI when the Atlanta Falcons, for whom Shanahan served as offensive coordinator, took a 28-3 second-half lead over the New England Patriots and then collapsed 34-28, Shanahan’s 49ers didn’t have nearly as comfortable a lead.

And unlike that Super Bowl LI showing, Shanahan hadn’t cost his team with overly aggressive play-calling. 

This time, he seemingly was too conservative in his play calls. He remained measured and calculated in his approach during that second-quarter comeback, and in the third quarter when the 49ers took a 20-10 lead. 

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