Super Bowl 2020: 49ers' Kyle Shanahan after loss to Chiefs: 'It shouldn't be a problem' to bounce back
Shanahan's mind is in the right place, but history isn't on the 49ers side
Kyle Shanahan knows a lot about football adversity as of late, but this latest helping of humble pie won't be any easier to swallow for a head coach who himself is as humble as he is talented. The 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV will undoubtedly sit with him for some time to come, considering the San Francisco 49ers and their stifling defense held the prolific offense of Patrick Mahomes and Co. to only 10 points for roughly 3.5 quarters, only to allow 21 points in the closing minutes to seal their own fate at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
As the 49ers George Kittle.of what they did and did not do on Feb. 2, the reality is there's nothing that indicates at the moment they won't be contenders once again next season. The club is reportedly looking to sign early extensions on Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, and is also committed to getting a longterm extension done on All-Pro tight end
A career year by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, a breakout season for rookie wideout Deebo Samuel and a stifling defense that can travel hints at another trip to the playoffs next season, and that's something Shanahan is willing to subscribe to as the club mourns the loss in Miami.
"[Bouncing back] shouldn't be a problem," he told media after the game, via Pro Football Talk. "We'll lick our wounds, we'll get over this. We'll be fired up for next year. We got a lot of people coming back.
"I think we surprised a lot of people this year. We knew we had a really good team. I'm very proud of the guys and how much better they got throughout this year, and I expect to get almost all of these guys back and plan on adding a few more.
"We're going to rest a little bit, get over this, but we'll be very fired up for next year."
Of course, that's easier said than done.
Only three teams in NFL history have lost a Super Bowl and appeared in (and won) the very next one, namely the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, and that's roughly a 45-year gap between the what the Cowboys and Dolphins did in the 1970s to what the Patriots did on the back end of the last decade. That is to state the obvious, for in a league designed to thrive on parity, anything is possible -- making it difficult for any team not coached by Bill Belichick to repeat Super Bowl appearances in rapid succession.
Most recently, the Los Angeles Rams can attest to how difficult of a feat it is, considering they were victims of the aforementioned Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, and didn't even make the playoffs this season after again being labeled frontrunners in the NFC.
So while it "shouldn't be a problem," it often is.
It is possible though, but Shanahan will have to take lessons heagainst the Patriots in Super Bowl LI -- when he was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta -- and combine them with yet another fourth quarter collapse in Super Bowl LIV to finally turn heartbreak into harmony. The first step will be for the 49ers to recover from this hangover and give it their all to get back to the Big Game, yes, but Shanahan must also figure out how to finish once/if he ever returns to it.
For now, it's back to the drawing board.
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