The San Francisco 49ers had every opportunity to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV but came up short 31-20. As expected, the mood in the locker room and during the media availability was somber. The questions from the media made matters worse, as the Niners players weren’t in the mood to discuss what had just taken place. Rightfully so. They just lost poured their heart and souls out for three hours in the biggest game of their life. Nick Bosa was seen crying on the sideline with his fellow defensive linemen consulting him. During his press conference, that emotion turned to frustration. Bosa was asked a series of questions, and he answered the majority of them with one word.
When asked what the Chiefs did differently schematically in the second half, Bosa said, “I don’t know, I don’t play on the backend.” The next question was, “what’s going through your mind right now?” To which Bosa responded, “I’m pissed.” I don’t fault him or any player for not going in-depth on questions after the game. The vibe was similar to Richard Sherman, who handled questions a touch better but was clearly upset. The veteran held it together and did a great job of answering every question, even the handful of bad ones. Sherman was asked what happened on the play where Sammy Watkins caught it over him: “He just made a play.” The 49ers knew they blew a golden opportunity, and their answers reflected that.
Here is George Kittle on the turning point of the game:
George Kittle on the turning point of the game.— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) February 3, 2020
“As an offense, we have to end the game right there, and we didn’t.” pic.twitter.com/cN1uNo4IZ2
It’s tough to argue that. We will likely spend all offseason talking about Kyle Shanahan’s play-calling in this game. It wasn’t great, but there were plenty of plays that the players left on the field. Kittle didn’t make any excuses.
Here is edge rusher Dee Ford defending his quarterback and his coach:
Dee Ford defends both his QB and head coach ⬇️— KNBR (@KNBR) February 3, 2020
ON GAROPPOLO: "He's the leader of this team, the leader of that offense... This team does not move without Jimmy Garoppolo.
ON SHANAHAN: "I trust his leadership. That's the big thing for a player. I'd run through a wall for him." pic.twitter.com/4gYt4Ag8Jo
This was tough at the time and watching it over isn’t any easier. Here is Joe Staley talking about how close the 49ers were and how much went into this game:
Joe Staley: Put yourself in my shoes for a second. It’s tough. pic.twitter.com/W623UdkPyi— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) February 3, 2020
With that said, all the players were fantastic when it came time to reflect on the season and how special this team was. Kyle Juszczyk summed it up well:
Kyle Juszczyk on how special this 49ers team was: “This team is a team I wouldn’t trade for anyone.” pic.twitter.com/vq5rFDsWzU— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) February 3, 2020
Right after a gut-wrenching loss isn’t the time to reflect, but the 49ers had a magical season. That was the most fun I’ve had watching football in a three-month stretch. The brand of football was exciting. You never knew what was coming next, but you knew something was going to happen. We finally saw the Niners get healthy again, and these last three games showed you how talented and resilient this squad is. The fourth quarter of the Super Bowl is still fresh on our minds, so, naturally, it’s easy to pick apart everything that went wrong, from the defense giving up too many third and long plays, to Shanahan’s play-calling, to Jimmy G being ineffective. For three-quarters, Garoppolo outplayed the best quarterback in football.
We’ll end it with a string of 49ers tweets:
Proud of this team! Wasn’t the result we wanted but we battled through. I wasn’t good enough tonight and I will fix that. Thank you for all the support all year.— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 3, 2020
love my brothers!! next season starts now— dante (@dmainy_13) February 3, 2020
Thank you Faithful for everything this year. Will never forget this team. Love my brothers for life— Matt Breida (@MattBreida) February 3, 2020
Proud of this team, proud of the fight. Was an unbelievable rookie season happy to create a bond with my brothers that will last forever! Thank you to the coaches for believing in me— Keaundre Greenlaw (@DreGreenlaw) February 3, 2020
Worst feeling I’ve ever felt!— Kendrick Bourne Poly (@BournePoly11) February 3, 2020