Kyle Shanahan conceded the San Francisco 49ers were “hurting right now” after again coming close, but again failing, to win the Super Bowl.
The 49ers have now lost three successive Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs edging a thrilling game 25-22 when Patrick Mahomes three a three-yard touchdown to Mecole Hardman Jr with three seconds remaining in overtime.
The Chiefs also beat the Niners four years ago and Shanahan acknowledged this was another tough one to take.
“There’s nothing different to say,” he said. “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.
“I’m real proud of our guys, no regrets with our team. I thought our guys played so hard today not everything was perfect by any means, but if I’m going to lose with a group of guys, I’d do it with those guys any time and we’ll get over this and come back next year ready to go.”
San Francisco have reached the NFC Championship game in four of the past five seasons but their wait for a Super Bowl will go into a 30th year next season.
“We’ve been so close so many times that there’s only so many more opportunities that we have,” said a forlorn defensive end Nick Bosa.
“I could have done more. Everybody could have done more. And there’s really not much to say at this point. It’s going to hurt, and it’s going to hit in waves, but that’s life.”
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) February 12, 2024
Ultimately, this loss came down to the side that made the most errors with the Niners guilty of two special teams mistakes and an early fumble from star running back Christian McCaffrey.
The positive for Shanahan was that he stuck to his original game plan and it came so close to working.
“What I can’t live with is when I do stuff that I didn’t plan on doing or that I didn’t do, and second-guess myself,” Shanahan said.
“I’m proud of what we did today as a coaching staff and as players in terms of we worked and we did everything we planned on doing. We just didn’t get it done.”