There are plenty of moments that everyone can look back to in the NFC Championship and wonder whether one of them could have changed the course of the game.
Missed throws, the decision to punt on fourth-and-2 and Jaquiski Tartt’s dropped interception all loom large.
For Donte Whitner, it was that conservative decision by Kyle Shanahan on fourth down which cost the 49ers. After losing a yard on second-and-1, then running a cutesy fullback dive with Trent Williams in motion that went nowhere, Shanahan opted to take a delay of game and punt from the Rams’ 45-yard line.
Whitner thinks that sealed the 49ers’ fate.
“The fourth-and-2. I told everybody in the studio and NBC when it got to that fourth-and-2 and I’m like, ‘This is a major decision in the game.’ And he chose the punt the ball then, I felt like that was the game,” Whitner said. “If you go for it there and you get it, you probably come out of there with a win. So I think that that was the only coaching flub or the major one that I saw.”
Later in the interview, the former 49ers defensive back broke down the Cooper Kupp touchdown that split Ambry Thomas and Jaquiski Tartt in a Cover 2 defense, and why it was Thomas’ fault. He said it’s something that would only work for the Rams about five percent of the time.
Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Catch Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks weekdays from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.