Kyle Shanahan

Alex Smith believes bad luck played into 49ers' Super Bowl losses

NBC Universal, Inc.

There are a handful of reasons why the 49ers might have lost Super Bowl LVIII to the Kansas City Chiefs.

San Francisco's defense couldn't stop superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense when it mattered most. The 49ers' wide receivers struggled to get separation in Kansas City's zone defense, leading to empty offensive possessions in the second half.

However, sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way.

Former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith joined KNBR 680's "Murph & Markus" on Friday morning and was asked about San Francisco failing to win the Super Bowl after coming close on multiple occasions over the years and if they have a problem getting over the hump and winning the "big game."

"It's a good problem. You can take six plays from this last Super Bowl and if the ball just bounces a different way on one of them, the Niners are holding up the Lombardi," Smith said. "You got to keep getting opportunities, and there is a certain amount of luck in this, and I think unfortunately they've been on the wrong side of it a few times. And Kyle [Shanahan] has been on the wrong side of it even more.

"This kind of sustained success they're having, that is so rare. It's so rare, it's so hard to do and they just need to keep knocking at the door. And they're going to get it."

Shanahan, as a coach and offensive coordinator, has been on the losing end of three Super Bowls after his team held fourth-quarter leads. Widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the NFL, Shanahan -- similar to the early career of former Philadelphia Eagles and current Chiefs coach Andy Reid -- has come away empty-handed in the playoffs.

"And it's so funny that Kyle and the Niners have lost twice to the Chiefs and Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, because this was kind of Andy's thing for so long, all the sustained success he had in Philly but couldn't win the big game," Smith added. "It kind of reminds me a little bit of what Kyle's going through.

"Clearly everybody recognized their offensive geniuses, some of the best coaches in the NFL and couldn't get it done. And all of a sudden you finally do and now Andy's on the Mount Rushmore of coaches. It can change very quickly and I think it's going to for Kyle and this Niners team."

Reid posted a 130-93-1 record in 14 seasons as the Eagles coach. Philadelphia made the playoffs nine times during his tenure and consistently was one of the best teams in the league. But Reid never won a Super Bowl.

Until seven years later when he finally hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating Shanahan and the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. He went on to win two more against the Eagles in 2023 and of course San Francisco again in 2024.

Will Shanahan and the 49ers follow a similar path?

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us