MIAMI – The face told you everything. Kyle Shanahan’s eyes looked moist as he made his way to the field, seeking out Andy Reid for the traditional post-game handshake and from afar, as he searched the field, he looked like he was going to cry.
The ending was that emotional for the coach of the San Francisco 49ers, probably that painful and difficult, a pain that may stay with him until his Super Bowl opportunity comes again.
On a Sunday night in which almost everything went right for the Niners for three quarters, from game planning to quality of play to the way in which they attacked Patrick Mahomes, playing 50 minutes of quality football wasn’t enough for Shanahan and the 49ers to get a ring. They needed 10 more minutes without mistakes and breaks going against them.
“Honestly,” said Shanahan after the game, “Kansas City played a good game. They were better than us today.”
That’s half right. Kansas City did play a good game. But if you measure the game by who held the edge, quarter to quarter, series by series, this should be the Niners celebrating today and the young coach, some call him a football genius, would not be questioned for how he let this get away.
“We had an opportunity to win and came up short,” he said. “But win or lose, this isn’t going to change the way I feel about our team … We can deal with (the loss). But it’s disappointing.”
Early on in Super Bowl LIV, the star quarterback was not Mahomes, it was Jimmy Garappolo. He was economical, sharp, and the Shanahan play calling seemed perfectly matched to his unspectacular quarterback. Early on, he completed passes with ease and the vaunted San Francisco running game, so dominant in the two previous playoff games, was just OK against the Chiefs. Just OK usually gets you beat and in this case, as the game went on and memories of the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl collapse against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta, came to mind.
Why didn’t the Falcons run the ball when they had a huge lead? Why didn’t they manage the clock better against the Patriots? What was Shanahan thinking?
Reid, for all his wins, has never been known as a great manager of time in close games. Both he and Shanahan run just about the most refined offences in football, as different as they may be. But Shanahan hasn’t had a close playoff game as a head coach to worry about before this Super Bowl.
He didn’t crash out Sunday night but in the fourth quarter, when he needed a first down and Chiefs were looking vulnerable, the Niners had their first three and out. The only one of the game. One first down might have changed the entire picture of the clock on a night when calls didn’t necessarily go the 49ers way.
George Kittle caught a long pass in the first half and was flagged for offensive pass interference. The call was dubious, maybe correct, maybe not. A few weeks earlier, New Orleans got knocked out of the playoffs on an end zone catch by Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph, when he pushed off and there was no penalty.
The Kittle push was less than the Rudolph push: One week it’s pass interference and game changing in a Super Bowl. The weeks before, it’s a touchdown. Welcome to NFL officiating.
That wasn’t the only call San Francisco could question. Damien Williams took a short pass and scored in the fourth quarter – his first of two touchdowns – and clearly he stepped out of bounds at around the two-yard line. Maybe he stepped out before reaching with the ball and crossing the goal line. Maybe he didn’t. The replays weren’t clear. But you could make a case – as my vision did – that Williams didn’t score on the play and had it been called that way, who knows what happens next?
Leading 20-10 and not just controlling Mahomes but punishing the young quarterback, who passed for just 146 yards in three quarters, Shanahan had put his team in position to win. “We had a two-score lead,” he said. “But we had to move the chains to get first downs. We didn’t in our two possessions (in the fourth quarter) and they did. That’s how it ended up.”
Shanahan still had things to answer for post game. Why not call time out near the end of the first half when they were getting the ball back? Why be so conservative when they looked to be the better team? Why not jump all over the Chiefs when they appeared to be so vulnerable?
The 49ers are a good football team with perhaps a great football coach: Mahomes is the new face of the NFL. Shanahan is the new coach. But he took a hit in Super Bowl LIV. He looked almost perfect through three quarters, then lost, like the team, in the final 10 minutes. “We’ll lick our wounds and get over this,” he said. This winter will be a long one.
Canada takes on Slovakia as World Juniors continue on TSN – TSN
Team Canada has had its first taste of summer hockey at the World Junior Championship and will continue the quest for gold tonight against Slovakia.
Watch Canada vs. Slovakia at 6 p.m. ET on TSN4, TSN.ca and the TSN App. TSN’s coverage of Thursday’s games at the tournament begins at 2 p.m. ET with Finland facing Czechia.
Connor Bedard, a top prospect for the 2023 NHL draft, opened the scoring for Canada (1-0-0) and added an assist in a 5-2 win over Latvia (0-0-2) on Wednesday.
Sebastian Cossa got the start in net and made 22 saves for a Canadian squad quickly looking to build chemistry in Edmonton.
Canada’s head coach Dave Cameron said prior to the game he wanted to see “disciplined 200-foot hockey” and that the effort against Latvia was pretty much what he expected.
“It’s early, this is really only our second game, so you knew it was going to come in ebbs and flows,” said Cameron. “I like that we stuck with it and found a way to get that fifth goal which was huge and took a little bit of that pressure off towards the end of the game.”
Canada has reached the podium in four of the past five tournaments, including gold medals in 2018 and 2020. Canada last won gold on home soil in 2015.
Cameron was quick to say that getting prepared to play hockey in August is not an issue.
“Not a chance, it’s what I do,” said Cameron. “I’ve done summer tournaments before … hockey’s hockey.
“It doesn’t matter the environment, the city, the number of people in the stands, anything like that. We’re hockey people and when that puck drops – game on.”
Slovakia (0-0-1), which features another top 2023 draft prospect in centre Dalibor Dvorsky, fell 5-4 to Czechia in their first match of the tournament on Tuesday.
TSN’s Mark Masters reports that Dylan Garand is expected to start against Slovakia.
Riley Kidney and Carson Lambos are projected to be scratches, while Brennan Othmann and Ethan Del Mastro will draw in for Canada.
Tom Brady Steps Aside From The Buccaneers: Details – HotNewHipHop
Tom Brady is one of the best players in the entire NFL, and this season, he is looking to win his eighth Super Bowl title. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking good right now, and there is a real sense that they will win the NFC South, once again.
Unfortunately, Brady has had to put a halt to his training camp efforts as he is dealing with a personal matter. According to Ian Rapaport, Brady was not at practice today due to the issue and it seems like he won’t be returning to the field until after the team’s upcoming preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, which is set to take place on August 20th.
Brady is one of the oldest quarterbacks in the history of the league, and it is nothing short of impressive that he is still performing at such a high level. Many pundits believe the Buccaneers are favorites to win it all, yet again, although they will have to prove themselves following a disappointing end to the season in 2022.
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for The Match
This is a developing story so stay tuned to HNHH for all of the latest news and updates.
Watch Live: Oilers pay tribute to Ben Stelter – Sportsnet.ca
Ben Stelter was an inspiration to many in the sports world and beyond.
Two months before his fifth birthday, Stelter was diagnosed with glioblastoma — a form of brain cancer. After meeting the Edmonton Oilers, he quickly became a motivation for the team during their run to the Western Conference Final.
Stelter died at the age six, his father had announced Wednesday.
The Oilers will speak publicly starting at around 12:30 p.m. ET, and their comments can be seen in their entirety on Sportsnet through the video player atop this page.
Note: This live stream has ended.
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