At the worst possible moment, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was confronted with a QB problem he couldn’t fix

Philadelphia – for all of the genius of Kyle Shanahan this season – all of the errors and the boldness and the vanity and the profitable – the NFL’s common legal guidelines recommended there king be on the backside of his bag. The one query was whether or not San Francisco 49ers The pinnacle coach can sidestep the second, presumably overrun it, trick or deal with it away and maintain this unlikely spin going.

However when the top lastly got here, the second was as merciless because it was closing.

A 3rd rookie Stringer turned Savior Brooke Purdy can’t throw. Fourth stringer Josh Johnson Cannot play. working again Christian McCaffrey He was fitted with a quarterback wristband and the 49ers got two choices: maintain Purdy within the recreation and let him hand the ball, or use their marquee working again as a centerpiece within the Wildcat scheme. Both method, it’s Philadelphia Eagles He had a brutal protection that was main 21-7 early within the third quarter of the NFC Championship recreation and had the ultimate benefit over Shanahan’s offense. Not solely was it one-dimensional with no passing quarterbacks, however he did not have any choices left.

Instantly, the Eagles hit San Francisco’s depth chart into territory unseen this season. Two extra backhanders broke, leaving the underside of Shanahan’s bag with nothing greater than a fistful of air. It is the type that takes a legit Tremendous Bowl contender and shrinks him to a roster in collective disbelief, as gamers stare blankly at different quarterback’s accidents and surprise What is going on on?

“I feel everybody has carried out that [think] That, “49ers tight finish George Keitel He mentioned After Sunday’s lopsided 31-7 loss to the Eagles. “You placed on two quarterbacks and neither of them can throw and neither of them is basically accessible. It sort of limits what you are able to do as an offense.”

How restricted? Kittle carried out in a restricted quantity: 15 performs, give or take. With mainly all of them that includes some sort of playback ingredient.

“You possibly can solely achieve this a lot,” Kettle mentioned. “As soon as Purdy acquired again, they put six guys on the road of scrimmage and loaded the field. It’s not like we may do any play actions or something outdoors of it, so we sort of needed to struggle it.”

January 29, 2023;  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA;  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) raises his hand to running back Christian McCaffrey (23) against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field.  Mandatory credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Purdy (13) was severely restricted because the beginning quarterback Sunday because of an elbow damage. (Invoice Streicher-USA Right this moment Sports activities)

This recreation was a narrative of big eagles, in fact. One in lots of, actually. It was a few protection that did not get as a lot hype because it deserved and a sophisticated rush in it Hasson Riddick Who’s indubitably probably the most disruptive within the recreation within the 2022 season. It was concerning the quarterback at Jalen Hurts Who appears to be affected by damage and common supervisor Howie Roseman who brilliantly rebuilt his second Tremendous Bowl With a distinct coach and midfielder.

These are the tales that can proceed for the subsequent two weeks Tremendous Bowl LVII. In the end, the 49ers aren’t going to undercut among the finest defenses to fall in need of the NFL’s greatest stage. To not point out ending the rookie season within the storybook for Purdy, who went from final decide within the 2022 NFL Draft to a legit contender for the franchise’s begin subsequent season.

Maybe it is an incredible testomony to Purdy that the 49ers offense faltered so badly in his absence, after successful by Reddick on San Francisco’s first drive ultimately compelled Purdy to fumble and adjusted the course of the sport. Whereas the precise nature of the damage remained unknown Sunday evening, it was extreme sufficient to require an MRI subsequent week. It is a undeniable fact that was made obvious to the quarterback virtually instantly, as he went to the sideline and instructed Shanahan the worst doable information: He could not throw anymore.

“I actually felt quite a lot of bumps in all places from my elbow to my wrist [the] Again [of my arm]Purdy mentioned. “Simply ache, in all places… I instructed him proper there.” [after the Reddick hit]’, ‘If we run a play, I can’t get any deeper. “

And it was it. With all due respect to the skillful man Josh Johnson, I felt just like the stability of momentum would ease off as the sport went on. Which it did, although, as McCaffrey faked a 7-7 tie within the second quarter on a 23-yard TD run. It was solely a matter of time earlier than the elite protection made itself felt and turned the tables on a 49-man squad that had been beating opponents all season. Lastly, when Johnson misplaced early within the third quarter to a concussion—whereas trailing by 14 factors—the one possibility left was to get Purdy and his splintered arm again within the recreation handy it and hope for a miracle that by no means occurred. about to return true.

Identical to that, the rookie quarterback who led San Francisco’s offense went on to a stage worthy of a Tremendous Bowl run. With him, Shanahan feels comfy opening up your entire playbook in opposition to a ferocious opponent. It was one of many weirdest and most irritating moments in Shanahan’s historical past, taking his place subsequent to a Tremendous Bowl loss as offensive coordinator with Atlanta Falcons Then one other as coach of these 49 of these. Neither of them felt toothless like this.

His bitterness was palpable as Shanahan walked off the sector on Sunday, with taut silences at his facet’s facet. His eyes have been mounted with a ahead gaze, and he completely didn’t acknowledge the presence of people round him who handed by and made faint gestures. They have been the sort of exchanges you’d count on when a head coach makes three NFC title appearances in 4 years, however he by no means fairly labored out the calculus required to win a Tremendous Bowl. A person who will get Coach of the 12 months votes and simply may win the award for the primary time in his profession, largely for locating a method out of the linebacker mess all season.

“The fellows are nice on the market,” Shanahan mentioned after the loss. “We have been actually excited for the day…. I want we had a bit of higher likelihood than we did right now.”

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan walks off the field after losing the NFC Championship to the Philadelphia Eagles.  This is the second straight season the 49ers have fallen short of achieving a Super Bowl.  (AP Photo/Matt Roark)

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan walks off the sector after dropping the NFC Championship to the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s the second consecutive season that the 49ers have fallen one win in need of reaching the Tremendous Bowl. (AP Picture/Matt Roark)

Kittle added, “How does it really feel while you lose the NFC Championship recreation as a result of I haven’t got a quarterback? Fairly *****, to be trustworthy.”

For probably the most half, the one-sided nature of dropping will get rid of a few of the second guesses that will have occurred had the sport been nearer. The 24-point defeat tends to numb questions on penalties, depth chart selections, and blocking schemes (equivalent to these the place the tight finish Tyler Croft He was attempting to cease Reddick when the Purdy hit occurred). Sooner or later, the character of accidents can bury a staff and it is truthful to say that is what occurred to the 49ers offense.

However that would not get rid of the query of the place this protection may need settled if Purdy hadn’t been damage, or what this version of the 49ers is likely to be able to. It is destined to alter now, as all NFL groups – when their season ends – lose gamers, assistant coaches, and entrance workplace personnel. San Francisco shall be no totally different, with the low season turning to contracts and the way forward for defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. To not point out questions on how vital the damage was to Purdy’s arm and what which means for future competitors on the quarterback with Tri Lance.

In the end, that would be the focus of this franchise. However solely after getting over it What if: What if Purdy’s arm survived Sunday’s blow? what if Jimmy Garoppolo Was she wholesome sufficient to return to the reserve? What if Johnson will get an actual likelihood to see if Shanahan can engineer one thing along with his fourth caller to sign this season? In the end, the franchise should get previous these questions, and the teaching employees and roster might want to get again on the identical journey once more.

Kittle summed it up Sunday evening, speaking a few franchise that has lastly run out of solutions for its quarterbacks within the 2022 season.

“What if it simply sort of rubs off our whole lives in a method, if we do not obtain our targets,” he mentioned. “I attempt not to have a look at what if. S*** occurred. How would you reply to it?”

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