SANTA CLARA (KRON) — While most picture the San Francisco 49ers’ locker room filled with heads down and somberness, it’s actually quite the opposite.
The 31-20 Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs has actually inspired the team and fueled them for next season.
Of course, the energy at Levi’s isn’t exhilarated and radiant, the team and entire organization are taking time to grieve the heartbreaking loss. But as Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said, several players are over the grieving stage and ready to take that anger out on the field.
“These guys wish we were playing this week,” Shanahan said. “We’re fired up to go, we can handle how hard the loss is. But we want to put ourselves in that position again.”
That position being another Super Bowl, which history has proved is unlikely but not impossible.
Only eight teams in NFL history have returned to the Super Bowl a year after losing the Big Game. Out of those teams, only three won it — the Dallas Cowboys, the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots.
But Shanahan said this 49ers team is different.
“I think there’s a reason not a lot of teams have done it, it’s not an easy thing to do,” he said. “But I also think we have different people than other teams have.”
He referenced his first year as HC with the Niners in 2017 where the team started out 0-9. No team had finished better than 3-13 after starting 0-9, but San Francisco finished 6-10 that season.
Shanahan said he looks at little things like that to remind him of how special this group is.
The 49ers maintained a 20-10 lead over KC in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV. But in less than seven minutes, they allowed 21 unanswered points that helped put the Chiefs on top.
It was a win they essentially let slip away. All the hard work, obstacles, dominating the NFC just gone in a matter of minutes. But, General Manager John Lynch doesn’t want to look at it that way.
After going 4-12 last season, the 49ers shocked the league with an amazing season.
Lynch doesn’t want the team to forget that.
“Let’s not just do away with what a special season we had and let’s not just forget that. Let’s talk about moments and memories,” he said. “That’s something we did in our team meeting yesterday. We had some of our guys, just random guys stand up and talk about their favorite moments and memories.”
Although Lynch said the loss has been difficult, he said he’s appreciative of those who have been supportive all season and following the loss.
Obviously a lot of negativity comes your way after losing the biggest game of the season. People will point fingers and make comments about anything and everything.
But Lynch said when he got back to the Bay from Miami, he remembered what mattered most.
“I got off the plane and I went to my daughter’s basketball game. I can’t tell you how many people came up and said ‘thank you,'” Lynch said. “So to all the people out there who appreciate that, appreciate the ffort of our team and Kyle and his staff — we’re appreciative… the feeling that has on the community, the Faithful, the fans, when we go on the road, at home and having the excitement back at Levi’s, a lot of positive things transpire and we can’t forget about that.”
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