If it wasn’t obvious already, it has become abundantly clear just how much of a home run the 49ers brass hit when they decided in early 2017 to name Kyle Shanahan the 19th head coach in the history of the prestigious franchise.
After inheriting what was largely viewed as the worst roster in the league, Shanahan has been the architect behind a complete overhaul that has seen the 49ers go from a laughing stock to an outright juggernaut.
The early years of the rebuild and a couple of seasons of injury at the quarterback position have skewed the perception of just how good Shanahan has been in the bigger picture of his time with the 49ers.
An overall record that just recently got over .500 for the first time in year six of his tenure with the team does not tell the whole story of just how special Shanahan has been in this role.
However, one area that adequately reflects the brilliance of the 49ers' head coach is how his teams have performed on the big stage in the postseason. Sunday’s divisional-round win over the Cowboys moved the 49ers to 6-2 in the postseason under Shanahan, with a trip to the NFC Championship game in each of the three playoff runs they have made since Shanahan has been with the team.
That win over Dallas also marked the third time Shanahan has won multiple playoff games in a single postseason, making him the first head coach in NFL history to record multiple playoff wins in each of their first three trips to the postseason.
Think back to all of the illustrious coaches in the history of the league, from Don Shula and Bill Walsh to Andy Reid and Bill Belichick. None of them had the same level of sustained postseason success to begin their careers that Shanahan has had with the 49ers in terms of making a deep run every time they get into the dance.
There is also a built-in belief that this team has what it takes to succeed in the playoffs regardless of the location, something they proved with back-to-back road wins in the postseason last year.
As the 49ers prepare for the toughest test of the season against the Eagles this season, they can go into Philadelphia confident that their coach will give them a fighting chance to knock off a tough opponent and punch their ticket to Glendale for Super Bowl 57.