Shanahan off to rough start as 49ers coach
SANTA CLARA, CALIF.
Kyle Shanahan’s coaching tenure hasn’t quite gotten off to the greatest start in San Francisco.
He lost his first nine games with the 49ers last year before the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo provided a late-season spark with five straight wins to close a 6-10 campaign.
With Garoppolo sidelined by a season-ending knee injury in Week 3 this year, the Niners have started the season 2-10 for the second straight year under Shanahan. Shanahan is just the fifth coach to begin his tenure with a team by going 2-10 or worse in each of his first two seasons. Cleveland’s Hue Jackson (2016-17), Detroit’s Jim Schwartz (2009-10), Tampa Bay’s Leeman Bennett (198586) and Tampa’s John McKay (1976-77) are the others.
Bennett got fired after his second season and Jackson didn’t make it through his third with the Browns. Schwartz and McKay stayed long enough to lead their teams into the playoffs, progress Shanahan hopes to be able to make with the 49ers.
“I’d love it to be a lot more obvious and a lot easier,” he said. “We finished 6-10 last year and I’d love to be improving from this year. I also know it was hard work to get to 6-10, especially starting 0-9. I think we came in this year with a franchise quarterback and we lost him early in the season, which definitely makes that much harder.
“I think we came here knowing that it was going to take some time. I think the way we finished last year definitely excels everyone’s feeling and what they thought. But, by no means did I think we were coming into it this year and it was just going to be easy. I knew it was going to be extremely hard.”
Here’s a look inside some more interesting numbers heading into Week 13:
Elite company: Todd Gurley of the Rams finds himself in exclusive company. He has gained 1,649 yards from scrimmage and scored 19 TDs so far this season. Only six players have topped those marks in the first 12 games, including Hall of Famers LaDainian Tomlinson (2006), Emmitt Smith (1995), Eric Dickerson (1983), O.J. Simpson (1975), Jim Brown (1965). Priest Holmes is the other, doing it in 2002. Touchdown Tom: Tom Brady’s next touchdown pass will move him past a couple of all-time greats. Brady is tied with Brett Favre for third place for the most regular-season TD passes with 508. Brady is also tied with Peyton Manning for the most ever combined in the regular season and playoffs with 579.
Prolific Pat: Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes is joining some special company in his first season as a starting quarterback. He joined Brady and Manning as the only players to throw at least 40 TD passes in the first 12 games of the season. Manning and Brady each won the MVP in the seasons they accomplished the feat. Mahomes also just had his seventh game of the season with at least four TD passes, a mark topped only by Manning when he had nine in the 2013 season.
Double threat: Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is proving to be almost as adept throwing TD passes as he is catching them. Beckham threw a 49-yard TD pass and caught a 1-yarder against Chicago last week, the second time this season he has caught and thrown for a TD pass in the same game. The only other time someone did that twice in a season was 1924, when Eddie Kaw and Benny Boynton did it for the Buffalo Bisons.