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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was unable to find the right words to console his team after a heartbreaking 25-22 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime of Super Bowl 58.
“There’s no right words right now,” Shanahan said. “It hurts. Everybody understands that we knew it would hurt if it came to this, but I’m just proud of our guys. They put themselves out there, they played their tails off, they played through a lot of stuff. That’s something we’ve got to live with.”
The 49ers suffered injuries to several key players throughout the game such as linebacker Dre Greenlaw, wide receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle. Although Samuel and Kittle were able to return, the 49ers weren’t able to close out the game in the fourth quarter or overtime.
San Francisco held a 10-3 advantage at halftime thanks to a strong performance from defensive coordinator Steve Wilks’ unit. Although Shanahan’s offense racked up 382 yards by the end of the game, the 49ers routinely settled for field goals in Kansas City’s territory and allowed the Chiefs to get back into the contest during the second half.
A missed extra point from kicker Jake Moody also proved to be costly, as quarterback Patrick Mahomes was able to drive down the field in the fourth quarter which resulted in a game-tying field goal with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation. If the extra point had been made, the Chiefs would have needed to score a touchdown in order to win the game.
The two teams previously faced off in Super Bowl 54 with Shanahan patrolling the sidelines. The 49ers held a 20-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter, although Kansas City responded with 21 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes as Mahomes hoisted his first Lombardi Trophy.
Despite multiple hard-fought losses in the Super Bowl, Shanahan remained optimistic about the future of his team and their ability to handle adversity.
“I know that’s something we can handle,” he said. “We’re all pretty disappointed right now. If I’m gonna lose with anyone I want to lose with those guys, man.”
The 49ers will now attempt to defend their NFC crown and avenge their Super Bowl defeat during the 2024 season, although they’ll have to navigate the offseason first.