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Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers have been put under the microscope in the wake of their Super Bowl LVIII loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. For the second time under the head coach (and against this very same team), the Niners held a double-digit lead in the Super Bowl and eventually came out on the losing end of things. That has given Shanahan's detractors plenty of ammunition to label him and his team as a group that simply cannot win when it matters most. 

When that characterization was brought forward to Shanahan during his end-of-the-season press conference Tuesday, the head coach, naturally, pushed back on the notion. 

"I mean you'd love to fix perception, because I'd love to win one for what I know about football, and I know if I fix perception that means I did everything I wanted to do, which isn't fix perception, it's win a damn Super Bowl," Shanahan said. "But I also know, when you say big games, we've had to win a bunch of big games to get to Super Bowls. We've won a lot of big games here, we've won a lot of big games to get into playoffs, the fact that we keep getting there shows you how much we win big games.

"These two Super Bowls have been tough, losing to Kansas City. But to think that if we win that, that means I can win a big game? No, that means our team won the Super Bowl."

"You guys can have any narrative you want, but the success or the failure, it comes down to one game, and I hope that I can be a part of a team that wins a game at the end of the year, but to say the Niners can't win a big game would be an extremely inaccurate statement."

It's a fair argument to make on Shanahan's part. There are plenty of big games leading up to a Super Bowl appearance, which the 49ers were able to hurdle. That includes this postseason where his club showed tremendous resolve in the form of a 17-point comeback vs. the Lions in the divisional round and a fourth-quarter rally against the Packers in the NFC Championship. Certainly, those qualify as big games, but they aren't the big game, which is the issue. And until Shanahan and his Niners are able to climb the mountaintop and hoist the Lombardi Trophy, that stigma, justified or not, will linger around the club.