San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has been fortunate enough to participate in three Super Bowls. He has not been fortunate enough to win any of them.
On Sunday night, Shanahan made it 0-for-3 in Super Bowl appearances, as the 49ers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 25-22 in overtime.
Afterward, Shanahan was expectedly despondent.
“There’s nothing different to say, I mean I don’t care how you lose when you lose Super Bowls, especially ones you think you can pull off, it hurts,” Shanahan said, via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “When you’re in the NFL, I think every team should hurt, except for one at the end. We’ve gotten pretty damn close, but we haven’t pulled it off. We’re hurting right now, but it doesn’t take away from how proud of our guys I am. I’m really proud of them today, too. As part of sports, as part of football, as part of life, as part of life. I’m glad we put ourselves out there. I love our team. We’ll recover, and we’ll be back next year strong.”
Shanahan’s first Super Bowl came back in February 2017 when he was the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator. That year, the Falcons held a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots at halftime, only to end up losing.
He then made his first trip to the Super Bowl as a head coach in San Francisco four years ago, blowing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead against the very same Chiefs.
Shanahan didn’t seem his team blow any big leads this time around, but the Niners did jump ahead 10-0 in the first half and held multiple other leads at different points of the game. That included going up 22-19 in the extra session until Patrick Mahomes marched Kansas City down the field for a touchdown.
There is no question that Shanahan is one of the best coaches in football, but the inability to get over the hump is something that will haunt him until he can break the cycle.
It’s hard to reach Super Bowls in the NFL, so the fact that Kyle Shanahan has already missed out on three championship opportunities has to sting. Badly.