'Hurting' 49ers lament another lost Super Bowl opportunity - ESPN
LAS VEGAS — For the second time in four years, San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan walked into a deathly silent locker room with the difficult task of finding the words to comfort a team that had climbed to within a step of the NFL mountaintop only to come up short.
Much like after his team coughed up a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, Shanahan came to the same conclusion following Sunday night's 25-22 overtime loss to those same Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII.
«There's nothing different to say,» Shanahan explained. «I don't care how you lose, when you lose Super Bowls, especially ones you think you can pull off, it hurts. But I think when you're in the NFL, I think every team should hurt except for one at the end. We've gotten pretty damn close, but we haven't pulled it off, and we're hurting right now.»
Sunday night's loss was painful not just for the fact that the Niners again had a double-digit lead they couldn't hang on to or that they had a pair of costly special teams miscues or that running back Christian McCaffrey fumbled away a promising opening drive. It hurt for all those reasons but even more so because it's the latest in a series of devastating near misses that are becoming a late January and early February tradition in San Francisco.
The Niners have advanced to at least the NFC Championship Game in four of the past five seasons. They've gone to the Super Bowl in two of those campaigns. They've lost double-digit leads in both Super Bowls and an NFC Championship Game, with a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles without a healthy quarterback for most of that game mixed in.
It's San Francisco's third consecutive Super Bowl loss since its last win following the 1994 season,