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Why Isn't Kyle Shanahan On the Hot Seat?

Ryan Phillips
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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Kyle Shanahan's San Francisco 49ers are 2-4 after a rough loss to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday night. That's now a four-game losing streak for Shanahan's team and things don't look like they're getting any better.

After a trip to Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers have been an absolute mess despite a strong roster. San Francisco is floundering while other NFC West teams are ascending. It's worth asking, why isn't Kyle Shanahan on the hot seat after five mostly terrible seasons?

Shanahan guided San Francisco to the Super Bowl after going 13-3 during the 2019 season. That came on the strength of an excellent season from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. That followed two terrible seasons, in which the 49ers went 6-10 in 2017 and 4-12 in 2018. Even with that Super Bowl loss though, things were looking up for the organization. Then Garoppolo fell apart.

For some reason, Shanahan, a long-time quarterback guru and supposed offensive genius, couldn't get Garoppolo straightened out. Yes, the quarterback suffered injuries, but he's been bad even when he's been healthy. The 49ers went 6-10 in 2020 and are 2-4 now. All-in-all, Shanahan is 31-39, and 18-36 outside of the 2019 season.

The Niners have a young quarterback in Trey Lance, but he may take several years to develop given how raw he is. Garoppolo clearly isn't the answer and there is no interim option. Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford has the Los Angeles Rams looking like contenders again and the Arizona Cardinals are undefeated and look phenomenal with Kyler Murray at quarterback.

The NFC West is getting tougher and San Francisco is getting worse. The 49ers have an elite defensive line and high-priced defensive pieces like Fred Warner, Dee Ford and Arik Armstead, plus Nick Bosa. On the the other side of the ball they just handed left tackle Trent Williams a massive six-year, $138 million deal. George Kittle is injured but should be back soon. The cupboard isn't bare, but the team simply can't win games.

At some point Shanahan has to deliver. He hasn't so far. If he can't turn things around quickly, he should absolutely be on the hot seat as the offseason approaches.

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