Kyle Shanahan was named the 20th head coach of the San Francisco 49ers on February 6, 2017, after spending the previous two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.
During his second season at the helm of the 49ers, the 2018 team overcame adversity early in the season after top free agent acquisition RB Jerick McKinnon tore his ACL prior to Week 1 and starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 3, putting an end to both of their seasons. Despite the setback, Shanahan, his coaches and the young core of the team stepped up to the challenge and endured the ups and downs of the season. Second-year TE George Kittle set an NFL record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season (1,377) while recording the most yards after catch by any player in the NFL since 2010 (870). Kittle earned Second-Team All-Pro honors, as well as his first Pro Bowl selection, after his historic season. Following injuries to both Garoppolo and QB C.J. Beathard, undrafted QB Nick Mullens was able to fill the void and excel for San Francisco's offense after being promoted to the active roster from the team's practice squad on September 26. Mullens started the final eight games of the season and accumulated the fourth-most passing yards by a quarterback in his first eight career games since 1970 (Patrick Mahomes, KC; Andrew Luck, Ind.; Cam Newton, Car.). On the defensive side of the ball, DL DeForest Buckner earned his first Pro Bowl appearance after leading the pass rushing unit with a career-high 12.0 sacks, which was the second-most among NFL DTs and the fourth-most by a member of the 49ers since 2000.