Kyle Shanahan on 49ers' Super Bowl loss to Chiefs: 'It's been hard to sit with'

Pete Grathoff, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Football

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes asked offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy if there was time to run Wasp in Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers had allowed 40 points in 111/2 postseason quarters.

But during a five-minute span, the Chiefs scored 21 points and rallied to win the Super Bowl 31-20.

"We had as good of an opportunity as you can ever have to be a champion, and we came up just short," head coach Kyle Shanahan said last week on the 49ers' 2020 state of the franchise show. "So that's by all means exactly what we're going for this year."

The Chiefs' "2-3 Jet Chip Wasp" call is celebrated in Kansas City because it started the comeback. But if Mahomes' pass had been off the mark or if he'd been sacked, the Chiefs likely would have had to punt with 7 minutes to play and trailing by 10 points.

After the Chiefs took a 24-20 lead, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo overthrew Emmanuel Sanders, who had gotten behind the Kansas City secondary.

"I was holding my breath while the ball was in the air," Mahomes admitted last week in a Chiefs' YouTube video.

The Chiefs got the ball back and running back Damien Williams' sealed the game with a 38-yard touchdown run.


"We came up one to three plays short from a world championship," Shanahan said. "It's been hard to sit with all offseason. It's also something I'm very proud of with the state of the franchise. We didn't get luckily there. ... It was as good a football team as I've ever been a part of.

"I know we were good enough to win that Super Bowl and we didn't, and that's something we've got to live with. And that's why the state of the franchise right now is we've got to get right back to that moment. We got to get right back to that fourth quarter and get to have a lead and we've got to finish the job."

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