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Would you rather a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs, or miss the playoffs altogether?

Is the pain too much to handle, or can you stomach getting close?

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

It’s been five days since the 49ers’ season ended in Philadelphia. Kyle Shanahan’s mood in the final press conference of the season represented how many 49ers fans and players felt. Frustrated, exhausted, and left with more questions than answers.

Thirty-one teams miss out on the Lombardi trophy. Every team has the Super Bowl on their mind, but frankly, only a few have a realistic chance to attain it. The 49ers were one of those teams. Losing to Philadelphia isn’t the reason for frustration. It’s the fashion in which they lost.

Shanahan and Lynch spoke directly about how proud they were of this season and how much fun it was. Twelve straight victories was a scenario nobody could have envisioned. Brock Purdy leading the charge made it an unlikely scenario.

How should fans view this season? Ask other fan bases, and I’m sure they would be elated to have a team compete for the conference championship three years out of four. But this is the 49ers, the team that doesn’t hang any banner that isn’t a Super Bowl banner.

Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks have to deem their season a success. Their circumstances were either with a first-year head coach or, in Seattle’s case, in the hands of a journeyman quarterback. The Jaguars and Giants won playoff games. Seattle didn’t, but people didn’t give them a chance to even qualify for the tournament.

What about a team that didn’t qualify for the playoffs but is making strides in the right direction? The Detroit Lions immediately come to mind. From being on Hard Knocks to knocking out the Green Bay Packers in Week 18. Their offense was explosive, and their roster has many young pieces.

Different teams have different circumstances and expectations that determine whether their season is a “success.”

Here is the question I pose to you. In a season that saw the 49ers start three quarterbacks and substitute a fourth one in the NFC Championship game to lose in the game before the Super Bowl after running off 12 straight wins, is this season a success?

Would you rather lose in the NFC title game, or not bear the heartbreak and frustration of a deep playoff run without a Lombardi?

To quote the legendary NASCAR legend, Ricky Bobby, if you’re not first, you’re last.

Isn’t it also true that you have to be “in it to win it?”

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Would you rather spare yourself from heartbreak or be done with the season before the playoffs?

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