By John Ellis
In their opening drive, the Eagles went for it from the Niners 35-yard line.
Hurts needed just three yards but instead went deep to Smith down the sideline. Smith appeared to haul in the pass and the Eagles rushed to the line of scrimmage to quickly get off the next play.
Without the benefit of a replay Shanahan did not challenge.
But the field position — and the telling way in which the offense scrambled to the line and quickly ran the next play — should have encouraged Shanahan to throw the red flag.
“The replay we saw didn’t clearly show [an incomplete pass],” Shanahan said.
“Actually . . . I was going to throw [a challenge flag] anyway and just hope to take your chances. But they showed one up on the scoreboard that didn’t have all the angles you guys saw. And that looked like a catch.”
Moments later, Miles Sanders rushed in for the touchdown, leading to Philadelphia’s 7-0 advantage and the first of many renditions of “Fly, Eagles, Fly.”
Looks like a non-catch on the Devonta Smith play.
Kyle Shanahan didn't challenge.
Cost the #49ers a touchdown.pic.twitter.com/NxifJD6ZhO
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 29, 2023