Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
The San Francisco 49ers came up just short of taking home their sixth Lombardi Trophy in franchise history as they fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. The 31-20 final score hurts even worse knowing that the 49ers held a 20-10 lead with just six minutes to play. Let’s jump into the last stock watch of the 2019 season.
Stock Down: Jimmy G and Kyle Shanahan Have a Monkey
There’s no two ways about it. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will have to win a Super Bowl together to remove the monkeys from their backs. Shanahan is being viewed as a coach who doesn’t have the juice in the big game and Garoppolo is being viewed as a second-rate quarterback. Neither label is warranted but that’s how reactionary hot takes work in 2020. It has gotten so out of control that there are subsets of the fan base calling for both of their heads. Once everyone steps back and takes a deep breath, they will be able to realize that Shanahan and Garoppolo were the ones to lead them to the Super Bowl in the first place.
Stock Up: Bosa Saved his Best for Last
Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa was an unstoppable force on Sunday night. He dominated Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher from the very first snap and never let up. Bosa racked up five tackles, a sack, a pass deflection and enough pressure to keep QB Patrick Mahomes off his game for 54 minutes. Bosa has been every bit of what the 49ers hoped he would be when they selected him second overall in the 2019 NFL draft. There is zero question that he was a key player and a major reason behind the 49ers success this season.
Stock Down: Jimmy’s Tunnel Vision
Garoppolo made plenty of good throws on Sunday. However, there were also many plays left on the field. Down the stretch, it seemed like Garoppolo would lock in on his first option and would throw the ball there regardless of what else was going on. Tight end George Kittle appeared to be running wide open on more than one occasion and did not get the ball thrown his way. For a team that built their offense around third-down efficiency all season, Garoppolo’s tunnel vision on critical plays ultimately helped cost the 49ers a chance at the title.
Stock Up: Deebo Samuel, 49ers WR1
Rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel had 8 touches and put together 92 total yards on those touches. Shanahan was determined to get him the ball any way that he could, and Samuel made the most of his opportunities. At one point, Samuel took an end around handoff and initially looked to throw the ball before correctly decided to scramble for a first down. With fellow WR Emmanuel Sanders slated for free agency and his future up in the air, Samuel enters the 2020 season at the top of the depth chart.
Stock Down: Defense Gets Gassed
If you’re not already sitting down while reading this, please find the closest spot to take a seat: the Kansas City Chiefs offense has very fast players. This is a shocking revelation, I know. Despite your surprise, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and the 49ers defense knew what was coming. The old saying that “speed kills” came to fruition at the end of the game as the 49ers could not keep up with the Chiefs’ track stars. Kansas City was on the field for 75 offensive plays which is too many for any defense to be asked to cover an opposing team. For reference, during the NFC Championship Game, the Green Bay Packers only ran 58 plays while winning the time of possession. It was clear to see the 49ers just ran out of steam at the end of the game.
Stock Down: Mostert’s Touch Numbers
Speaking of the NFCCG, running back Raheem Mostert set a record with 220 rushing yards on 29 carries against the Packers. On Sunday, he was only handed the ball just 12 times despite the 49ers having a lead and him averaging 4.8 yards per carry. For a team that spent the playoffs leaning on their running game to cruise through the NFC, seeing Mostert not get the ball more was very disappointing.
Stock Up: Motivation for 2020
The 49ers are a young team and they just had a taste of the ultimate victory. Shanahan has coached on the losing side of the Super Bowl twice now. They have all the motivation in the world to come back stronger than ever in 2020. I’ll just let George Kittle sum it up:
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