No one was more excited than San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan to dismantle the 49ers’ 38-10 Cardinals in Mexico City on Monday.
49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo put together a nearly flawless game, going 20 of 29 for 228 yards and four touchdowns. Elijah Mitchell, Debo Samuel and recently signed Christian McCaffrey combined for 135 of San Francisco’s 159 total yards in the NFC West showdown.
Shanahan’s coaching and play from his team drew attention and admiration from ESPN’s Troy Aikman. After the match, Aikman joined Sports Center for part with Scott Van Pelt to sum up the game when he named Shanahan as the one coach he would choose if he had to hire an NFL head coach.
“If I were in a position to hire a head coach and I could hire anyone I wanted, Kyle Shanahan would be that guy,” Aikman said.
The three-time Super Bowl champion said the 49ers coach would be the perfect man because of the franchise’s ability to dominate opponents with the “old-school” running game in Shanahan’s scheme.
“They play a style of football that you don’t see in the league,” said Aikman. “…I’m not surprised about that, because I know Kyle’s background with his father and football management.
But they’re physical, and in today’s league where there’s a lot of emphasis on player safety, not a lot of contact, not a lot of padding drills during the week, they play the game like I knew it. Not many teams can match that if they are not used to seeing it. I love them so much.”
With the win, the 49ers (6-4) took sole possession as the NFC West leader heading into Sunday’s game against the Saints. Since Shanahan became the 49ers’ head coach in 2017, San Francisco has appeared twice in the NFC Championship game that included last year’s 20-17 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams.
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