clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Looking back at every home opener under Kyle Shanahan

The early days were not pretty, but the results have been mixed either way.

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have dominated their opponents at Levi’s Stadium. That’s especially true when it’s an NFC opponent. During their last ten games, San Francisco is outscoring whoever comes to down by an average of 16.5 points.

You’d expect the crowd to have some extra juice tonight considering it’s a home opener. It’ll be difficult to top how successful the team was last season at home, as they were 8-1, with the lone loss coming to a quarterback named Patrick Mahomes.

Here’s how the Niners have fared in their first home games of the season under head coach Kyle Shanahan.

2017: Panthers 23, 49ers 3

The results have been mixed, we also know how far this roster has come since Shanahan’s early days as the 49ers head coach.

It’s difficult to envision any Shanahan offense failing to reach the end zone for a full game. But when you have to throw the ball with Brian Hoyer 35 times in a game, and his top target is Pierre Garcon, you can understand why the Niners record was what it was in 2017 before they traded for you know who.

2018: 49ers 30, Lions 27

In 2018, the 49ers raced out to a 27-13 lead after Matt Breida’s 66-yard touchdown run. But San Francisco had to hold on after a furious comeback by Matthew Stafford.

This was a game that was a sign of things to come for Jimmy Garoppolo, as he was sacked six times. Jimmy missed a wide open Dante Pettis on 3rd & 10 in the red zone, forcing the offense to settle for a field goal to go up 30-13. An almost interception to Tracy Walker would have been a killer, but it didn’t end up costing the team and the defense held at the end.

2019: 49ers 24, Steelers 20

It took a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis for the 49ers to beat...Mason Rudolph. Despite being 3-0, nobody envisioned a Super Bowl run after this sloppy performance. Garoppolo threw two interceptions and the 49ers needed to overcome five turnovers to beat Pittsburgh.

Sloppy may be kind. Two of the first three drives ended in interceptions, with the other being a punt. Then, on the ensuing two drives, Raheem Mostert fumbled and Garoppolo fumbled the snap. The Niners were extremely fortunate to only trail 6-3 at the half.

But thanks to a K’Waun Williams interception to being the third quarter, the offense was afforded a short field and capitalized with a Jeff Wilson Jr. touchdown. Pittsburgh retook the lead, but Jimmy answered with another touchdown drive.

After Pittsburgh scored again, the Niners had driven the field, but, on 3rd & goal, the timing on the handoff was off to Richie James, and it seemed as though the 49ers blew their chance to win the game.

Arik Armstead would force a fumble that was recovered by DeForest Buckner, and the 49ers prevailed thanks to that touchdown by Pettis in what was a game Shanahan has likely erased from his memory.

2020: Cardinals 24, 49ers 20

The 49ers were without Deebo Samuel for the first three games of the season as he suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot during the offseason. It showed in the passing game as the offense didn’t have a perimeter threat.

Arizona has no issues moving the ball through the air. It seemed like DeAndre Hopkins had 30 receptions. He finished with 14 for 151 yards, as the Cardinals picked on Emmanuel Moseley all afternoon.

Raheem Mostert had the bulk of the production for the offense in this contest. Despite not having Deebo, the 49ers had a chance to win the game. They were on the Cardinals 16-yard line with 37 seconds to play and had it at 3rd & 5. But two incomplete passes to Trent Taylor sealed the deal.

The 49ers would go on to draft a wide receiver in the first round the following draft.

2021: Packers 30, 49ers, 28

The last way the 49ers wanted to start this game was by spotting Aaron Rodgers a 17-0 lead. The offense punted and threw an interception on all four drives, before Trenton Cannon’s 68-yard kickoff return gave the offense life with a minute to go in the first half.

Trey Lance’s 1-yard touchdown run made it 17-7. Jimmy found Deebo for a couple of chunk plays, while rookie Trey Sermon had a 16-yard rush on this possession to bring the Niners within three after Garoppolo found Brandon Aiyuk on 3rd & goal. And just like that, we had a new game.

Both teams would trade punts and scoring drives, but Garoppolo was sacked and fumbled, which gave Green Bay a free three points to make it 27-21.

George Kittle’s 39-yard reception put the offense in prime position to score, and a nifty call to Kyle Juszczyk put the 49ers in front 28-27 with 37 seconds to play.

Using hindsight, many wondered whether Shanahan should have run the clock down and not given Rodgers any time.

Mason Crosby hit a 51-yard field goal, which gave the Packers a 30-28 victory in what was one of the most entertaining games of the season.

2022: 49ers 27, Seahawks 7

This game was bittersweet as it was supposed to be our first real Trey Lance experience, but he broke his ankle, which took the wind out of the sails for this game.

Garoppolo being brought back as the backup proved to be a wise decision, Brock Purdy likely wasn’t ready, but it may not have mattered who was under center.

Seattle lost the game when they called a halfback pass in the red zone. Their offense wouldn’t score for the rest of the game, as the 49ers cruised to a 27-7 victory.