NFL

Shanahan 'proud' of drought-ending Niners but warns against complacency

By Sports Desk November 16, 2021

Kyle Shanahan was filled with pride as the San Francisco 49ers finally ended their long home-win drought with a 31-10 upset of the Los Angeles Rams, but he warned that cannot be a flash in the pan.

All eyes were on debutants Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller after the high-flying Rams (7-3) acquired the star duo to boost their Super Bowl bid.

But the 49ers (4-5) spoiled the party – Jimmy Garoppolo throwing two touchdown passes as San Francisco celebrated just their second home win in the past two seasons, keeping their playoff hopes alive on Monday.

The 49ers, who have now won five straight games against the Rams – the longest active streak by either side, matching their 2008-10 run – had last emerged victorious on home soil in October 2020, also over the Rams.

Part of that was down to the 49ers having to play part of the 2020 season in Arizona due to COVID-19 restrictions in Santa Clara, but there was still a sense of relief as they eventually enjoyed success in their own backyard.

Shanahan was grateful to put such a run behind them.

"It's been frustrating," he said. "We haven't won at home yet this year. The last time we did win at home was versus the Rams.

"We had one game after that versus the Packers, and we spent are our home [games] in Arizona, but just going to this year was very frustrating.

"Especially, the crowds that we've had, the way our fans have been. They were awesome today. Just like they were awesome last week, but I'm glad we gave them something to be proud of today.

"I just told [the team] how proud of them I was. I said we've got a short week. I think we've got a real good team [the Jacksonville Jaguars] ahead of us – that's how we expect to play here.

"It's been long overdue and we've got to make sure that we take a day off. Those guys rest, come back healthy on a short week, make sure we keep it going forward."

There were entirely different thoughts going through the head of Rams coach Sean McVay, however, with the Super Bowl hopefuls suffering back-to-back losses for the first time this season.

"I choose to believe that these last couple weeks are not who we are," he said. "I refuse to believe that, even though, you know what, you're only as good as your last game.

"These last two weeks have certainly been humbling."

Beckham was rather less dramatic, though, despite his debut being overshadowed by a chastening defeat.

The wide receiver, who joined the Rams as a free agent this week following his release by the Cleveland Browns, simply felt the 49ers were better all over the field.

"I was excited, I felt like I was ready for the moment," Beckham added. "I've been through so much and God has put me in this position for that exact moment.

"It just wasn't our night. There's really no way around it, it just wasn't our night. Any given Sunday any team can win.

"The Niners came out and they played better than us in all phases of the game, and that's really the moral of the story. There's no trying to find what happened, they just outplayed us."

Related items

  • Emotional coach Payton confirms Saints exit as Super Bowl winner ends New Orleans reign Emotional coach Payton confirms Saints exit as Super Bowl winner ends New Orleans reign

    Sean Payton called it a day as head coach of the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, bidding the NFL franchise an emotional farewell after 15 seasons in charge of the team.

    Payton said he had met with team president Dennis Lauscha, owner Gayle Benson and general manager Mickey Loomis to tell them he had decided to go.

    "I don't know what's next and it kind of feels good," said Payton in a news conference.

    The 58-year-old Payton joined the Saints in 2006 and, in tandem with newly acquired quarterback Drew Brees, began to turn the team into a formidable force, peaking with a Super Bowl XLIV triumph in the 2009 season. Payton's team beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in the NFL showpiece game.

    Payton was close to tears as he explained why it was now time to move on. But he had prepared for that eventuality.

    "The last thing I did before I went to bed was I Google-searched how not to cry during a speech," Payton said, "and one of the items was drink water and yawn. Well I didn't want to yawn, but it worked a little bit."

    He said stepping down had been in his thoughts for some time, and Payton was not minded to go back on his decision.

    "Last week I had a great visit, a tough visit with Mickey Loomis and Mrs Benson, and Denis Lauscha, relative to just looking ahead with what I want to do," Payton said.

    "Mickey and I are of course now 16 years [with New Orleans] so that was challenging, because of our friendship more than our professional relationship, and then Mrs B was awesome. I love this about her, she said, 'Well go away for two or three months and come back for training camp, and we'll be ready to go'. And I thought that sounded pretty good, actually.

    "But I'm glad she told me to spend some time away and give this some thought, because this is a big decision, and it certainly affects a lot of people.

    "It's not often you as a coach have the opportunity to possibly leave. We coach, we coach, we coach, and at some point they tell you to leave.

    "And as difficult as being fired is, it sure seems easier to thank everyone and move on your merry way."

    Payton thanked the "amazing" New Orleans support and recalled having taken charge while the city was still recovering from the damage caused in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.

    Payton will be moving on after a 2021 campaign in which the Saints failed to reach the postseason, finishing with a 9-8 record.

    It still marked another fine coaching performance from Payton, who had his team evacuated early in the year due to a hurricane and later had to deal with a number of coronavirus and injury absences.

    Brees retired last year, and Payton decided it was time to follow suit.

    "He and I never discussed when his last game would be, or when I'd be finished. I just felt like this season it was challenging for everyone, but man I felt like it was time," Payton said, explaining the timing of his departure.

    "I knew maybe heading into training camp, but you don't share that with anyone. It's something I've been thinking about. You have close friends in the industry, and I've lost close friends in the industry in the last few years.

    "Not many get to choose their terms, and I looked on it as an opportunity to see my kids more, to travel more, to get in better shape.

    "I think the attention to details are so important, it can be so exhausting. I felt as this season was winding down it was the right thing."

    Payton's career with New Orleans included an NFL suspension for the entire 2012 season after the Saints' 'Bountygate' scandal blew up, with players said to have been rewarded by fellow team members for injuring and knocking opponents out of games.

    He returned to lead the team with distinction again, albeit unable to secure a return to the Super Bowl.

    From 2017 to 2020, New Orleans achieved regular-season performances of 11-5, 13-3, 13-3 and 12-4, finishing top of the NFC South on each occasion. This season they wound up as runners-up to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Payton, who was under contract through 2024, has a 152-89 regular-season record – the 13th-best of all time (minimum 100 games) – while he is 9-8 in the playoffs.

  • Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals

    Morocco booked their place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals as Achraf Hakimi's stunning free-kick sealed a 2-1 win over Malawi.

    The Paris Saint-Germain full-back struck 20 minutes from time at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo after Youssef En-Nesyri cancelled out Gabadinho Mhango's magnificent early effort.

    After scraping through Group B in third place, Malawi were making their first appearance in the AFCON knockout stages.

    The Flames took a surprise lead in the seventh minute, Mhango catching Yassine Bounou off his line with a wonderful 40-yard lob.

    Morocco had only lost one of their previous 11 games when facing an opponent in the competition for the first time.

    Vahid Halilhodzic's side equalised in first-half stoppage time as En-Nesyri headed home from Selim Amallah's deep cross.

    The contest looked possibly set for extra time until Hakimi emphatically beat Charles Thomu from 30 yards to send his nation through to the last eight, where they will face Ivory Coast or Egypt.

  • Saints coach Payton to step down, ending reign that peaked with Super Bowl win - reports Saints coach Payton to step down, ending reign that peaked with Super Bowl win - reports

    Sean Payton is stepping down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints after 15 seasons in charge, reports said on Tuesday.

    The franchise called a news conference for 15:00 local time (21:00 BST) at which Payton's departure was expected to be confirmed.

    Payton will be moving on after a 2021 campaign in which the Saints failed to reach the postseason, finishing with a 9-8 record.

    The 58-year-old Payton joined the Saints in 2006 and, in tandem with newly acquired quarterback Drew Brees, began to turn the team into a formidable force, peaking with a Super Bowl XLIV triumph in the 2009 season. Payton's team beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in the NFL showpiece game.

    Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season after the Saints' 'Bountygate' scandal blew up, with players said to have been rewarded by fellow team members for injuring and knocking opponents out of games.

    He returned to lead the team with distinction again, albeit unable to secure a return to the Super Bowl.

    From 2017 to 2020, New Orleans achieved regular-season performances of 11-5, 13-3, 13-3 and 12-4, finishing top of the NFC South on each occasion.

    Payton, who was under contract through 2024, has a 152-89 regular-season record – the 13th-best of all time (minimum 100 games) – while he is 9-8 in the playoffs.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.