Kyle Shanahan could not challenge what he could not see. On the heels of an NFC Championship thrashing by the Philadelphia Eagles, the 49ers head coach went into detail on why he did not throw the flag on a crucial DeVonta Smith “catch” in the game’s opening drive.

“The replay we saw didn’t definitively show that,” Shanahan said, per’s Kevin Patra. “We saw one up on the scoreboard. I wasn’t going to throw one anyways just to hope to take the chance. But they showed one up on the scoreboard that didn’t have all those angles you guys saw.”

Facing 4th-and-3, Eagles QB Jalen Hurts linked up with Smith for 29 yards, deep into San Francisco territory. However, upon seeing further replay angles, it was clear the 2020 Heisman Trophy Winner did not maintain control of the ball as he went to the ground. Philly scored two plays later to take a 7-0 lead. Shanahan was initially met with criticism for not challenging the play but explained that he certainly would have done so had he been privy to the angle viewers watching at home had seen.

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The Smith play was the first of several bad breaks for the 49ers. In the biggest moment of his career, and possibly life, Brock Purdy suffered an elbow injury on his team’s opening drive. He was forced to return later when back-up quarterback Josh Johnson went into concussion protocols, but he was limited to only two short passes due to severe pain and fear of nerve damage.

With a storybook ending in grasp, it will be hard for fans to accept the untimely deluge of mishaps and misfortune. Furthermore, NFL officials will again be under heavy scrutiny. Costly calls in the playoffs have become a bit too common. A runaway by the Eagles will soften that impact, but this is an issue that the league will not be able to dodge for much longer.

Replay was of no help to Shanahan and the 49ers this time. They will tend to their wounds, likely take pride in an overall successful season and hope for some better luck next year.