Emotions were still raw in the aftermath of the 49ers' heartbreaking overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII, with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Donte Whitner summing up the moment honestly.
Speaking to Carlos Ramírez during "49ers Postgame Live," Whitner explained how difficult it is to lose a Super Bowl given the high standards of playing for a franchise like San Francisco and given how challenging it is to get back to the game.
“This is my third time being involved in a [Super Bowl] loss, two as a commentator and one as a player, and none of them get easier,” Whitner said. “The 49ers right now are devastated, and this is considered a failure season.
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"You either win a Super Bowl or it’s a failed season. And now you have to go back to the drawing board and it’s very difficult to do and very difficult to get back here."
The 49ers had plenty of chances throughout the game, but a few significant miscues on special teams kept Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in it, with the Kansas City quarterback eventually throwing the winning touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman with three seconds left in overtime.
In the span of 15 seasons from 1981-1996, the 49ers captured five NFL championships behind Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young. Since winning Super Bowl XXIX in January of 1995, San Francisco has come up short in three straight title games, with two of them coming at the hands of Mahomes and the Chiefs.
San Francisco 49ers
Now coach Kyle Shanahan and the team will have to pick up the pieces as they head into the offseason, where they will be without starting linebacker Dre Greenlaw for an extended period of time as he tore his Achilles tendon early on in the Super Bowl.