Kyle Shanahan has heard the 28-3 jokes, and he understands “all the crap I gotta take” about the Atlanta Falcons’ blown lead against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

But the 49ers coach told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on “The TK Show” on Tuesday that he doesn’t look at San Francisco’s Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the same way. February’s defeat hurts more, in part because the loss to the Patriots didn’t come down to just a handful of plays.

“[The Falcons] went on an 85-yard drive on offense in the third quarter to go up 28-3 with five minutes to go in [the quarter],” he said. “From that point on, New England had [351] yards of offense and [eight incompletions]. So, like, whatever. And we didn't convert our [three] third downs. Who gets [351] yards of offense in a quarter? They just went off, and it is what it is.”

Super Bowl LIV, by contrast, didn’t involve a blown lead of historic proportions.

The Chiefs scored three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a 31-20 win. The 49ers failed to convert on third downs on their first two drives of the fourth quarter, and the Chiefs scored a TD on each of their ensuing drives.

Kansas City took a lead it ultimately wouldn’t relinquish, and San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked on fourth down on the 49ers’ attempted go-ahead drive with fewer than three minutes remaining.


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"This one was different to me,” Shanahan continued. “We were up 10. It's not like we blew a huge lead -- it was two possessions, and on those two possessions they scored and on our two possessions we didn't convert a third down.

“It flipped like that, and it was just over really quick. But it wasn't like we blew anything. They converted a third-and-long, and we didn't."

In other words, Shanahan probably isn’t as understanding of “20-10” memes as he is of those referencing “28-3.”