Radio Row

Why 49ers' Super Bowl 47 loss to Ravens still haunts Harbaugh

NBC Universal, Inc.
  • Programming Note: Watch Matt Maiocco's full Radio Row interview with Jim Harbaugh on "49ers Live" tonight at 5 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area

Former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, like most of the Faithful, is not over San Francisco's Super Bowl XLVII loss to the Baltimore Ravens in 2013 at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

San Francisco trailed Baltimore 28-6 with 7:53 remaining in the third quarter before storming back to nearly erase a 22-point deficit and secure the franchise's sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy.

In speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco Friday on Radio Row ahead of the 49ers' Super Bowl LVIII matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, Harbaugh discussed the crushing Super Bowl 47 loss and why it still haunts him to this day.

"Honestly, I've got to tell ya, it comes up in my thinking just about every single day, what we could have done differently," Harbaugh told Maiocco. "We got to the 5-yard line. Happy for my brother, but to have another crack at it and to be afforded that opportunity, that's big. I know what it's going to take to get there, it's going to be a lot of sacrifice, a lot of hard work, but it's incredible because the reward of being there and I want to know the feeling of winning it for our players, for our coaches. It's what drives me."

Trailing 34-29 with 4:19 remaining in the game, the 49ers marched down the field and set up a potential game-winning drive before quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw an incomplete pass over the outstretched arms of wide receiver Michael Crabtree in the corner of the end zone on fourth-and-5 with 1:46 remaining.

The 49ers attempted three passes from the Baltimore 5-yard line, and the decision not to run the ball once with future Hall of Fame running back Frank Gore still haunts Harbaugh to this day.

"I wish we would have run the ball, would have taken a crack with Frank Gore [with] a couple carries down there," Harbaugh said. "Woulda, coulda, shoulda. It's the kind of stuff that haunts you, because you walk off the field and go 'There will be other days' and you realize that might have been the only day. And to have a chance to have another day, that's all you can ask for is a chance."

After nine seasons as the University of Michigan head coach, Harbaugh, fresh off a National Championship victory, returned to the NFL after accepting the Los Angeles Chargers head-coaching job last month.

Harbaugh will watch his former team get another crack at a Super Bowl championship on Sunday, and believes it's important to show face in Las Vegas ahead of the big game.

"I come back to these Super Bowls now to pay respect to the NFL, to pay respect to the game and mostly those two organizations that made it: the 49ers, the Chiefs. They're the ones that did it." Harbaugh explained. "You know it takes a lot of hard work, it takes incredible players, incredible coaches and a lot of luck just to be here in this game.

"There was a time when I was a player and a coach and I said "I don't want to go to the Super Bowl unless we're in it.' That's changed. Since getting there and experiencing it, now it's like I want to pay respect to those two franchises and to the league."

Harbaugh already is hard at work preparing for his first season with quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers, and hopes to return to the big stage with his new team.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us