Kyle Shanahan Addresses 49ers’ Penalties Amid Sloppy Loss to Bears

San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan

Getty Kyle Shanahan calling a play for the San Francisco 49ers.

After months of anticipation, the San Francisco 49ers officially dropped their first game of the 2022 season, suffering a 19-10 loss to the Chicago Bears on the wet, muddy grass of Soldier Field.

Despite finishing the game with more first downs, total plays, total yards, total passing yards, total rushing yards and total time of possession on the same number of drives, crucial mistakes from Trey Lance — coupled with a dozen penalties and a rain-soaked field — ultimately proved too much for Kyle Shanahan‘s team.

The Niners scored just three points in the second half and finished out the game with a quartet of drives that ended with a punt, an interception, and two straight failed fourth-down conversions to finish out the game.

It was these mental mistakes, at least according to Shanahan, that cost the 49ers their perfect record.

Mistakes Cost the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1

When the 49ers play to their strengths and play up to expectations, they are one of the best teams in the NFL. They have an incredibly deep roster, star players at crucial positions across their depth chart, and enough experience on the sidelines to weather the typical ebb and flow of any given NFL game.

Unfortunately, when the team starts making mistakes and suffering self-inflicted wounds, sticking to the script and matriculating the ball down the field becomes increasingly hard to accomplish, as Shanahan detailed in his Week 1 post-game media availability.

“(Preventing penalties) was a big emphasis all week,” Shanahan told reporters on September 11. “We felt pretty good about the matchups and stuff, especially with our D and we knew that was going to be a deal, especially with you have a quarterback who is hard to bring down and the element of how hard you have to run to get to him. We were very well aware to avoid him when he slid and didn’t do a good enough job of that but I think the worst one was the unnecessary face mask, which I couldn’t see when we stopped the back in the backfield.”

The Niners committed 12 accepted penalties for 99 yards versus the Bears in Week 1, including a holding call on Javon Kinlaw immediately following Lance’s interception that helped to set up a touchdown by Khalil Herbert and effectively put the game away.

Shanahan Won’t Let Loss Shake the Locker Room

Elsewhere in his media availability session, Shanahan was asked if the loss to Chicago “shook” the 49ers locker room.

“Not when you look at what we just talked about,” Shanahan responded. “When you look at those 12 penalties and when they happened, you look at the turnovers, you look one of three in the red zone on those missed opportunities.

“I don’t care what happens, you see it on the stat sheet and we know what happened out there, so there isn’t a shock. I mean, we expect to go into games and win no matter what game it is, we usually always feel that way throughout the week preparing but we’ve got to play a lot better and do things right a lot longer than we did today no matter who we play.”

After suffering their first loss of the 2022 NFL season, the Niners will open things up at Levi Stadium on Sunday, September 18 against the division rival Seattle Seahawks, who will be coming off of a Monday Night Football bout at home against the Denver Broncos.

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