After losing another Super Bowl at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, many on the 49ers were trying to make sense of yet another setback in their championship quest.
Veteran players Arik Armstead and Kyle Juszczyk spoke during the postgame press conference, comparing their last two losses to the Chiefs in the title game.
When asked by reporters which loss is harder for him to take, Armstead expressed his disappointment in coming up so short, recognizing that the most recent defeat stings because many of the core players are not getting any younger.
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“Disappointing, the first time around [Super Bowl 54], it being the first, our first Super Bowl that I was a part of, was tough to lose,” Armstead said. “And, after we were all younger and, it was a little different feeling like, oh, we had some great years ahead of us and some more opportunities.
“This time around, I still think that -- we have some opportunities -- but we were just fighting so hard, to get it done and, once it's over, the hardest part is that you got to restart.”
Armstead compares the 49ers' past two Super Bowl losses pic.twitter.com/9FMenxsxJx— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) February 12, 2024
Juszczyk was equally somber in expressing his disappointment and frustration with another Super Bowl slipping away from the 49ers courtesy of Mahomes. The veteran fullback expressed his sadness at how this most recent loss stings even more considering how much he has developed as a player in the four years between both games.
San Francisco 49ers
“It's hard to say because the first time going through it, I don't know if it's, if it's harder or not,” Juszczyk said.
“I think what's harder for me is that I feel like I'm such a better football player than I was four years ago, and I feel like I have such a better understanding of the game and in that sense, it hurts a little bit more on that end because I just have such high expectations for myself and for our team.”
Juice says this Super Bowl loss hurts more than the loss four years ago because he had "higher expectations" for the team pic.twitter.com/2cNuujHk5d— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) February 12, 2024
While the 49ers had plenty of opportunities to put the game away, a few critical errors on special teams allowed the Chiefs to hang around and gave Mahomes the chance to add another chapter to his legendary career.
Despite the 49ers taking the lead in overtime via a Jake Moody field goal, Mahomes marched down on the ensuring drive, throwing a walk-off touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman to end the game.
Now Juszczyk, Armstead and the rest of the team will have to start the arduous process of making it back to the Super Bowl.
Considering the New England Patriots are the only team in recent memory to return to the title game the year following a loss, San Francisco will have a tough task ahead of them.