They took small solace in this defeat by saying how the 49ers were set up well for sustained success, with all the tools to win an NFL championship a year from now.
But star tight end George Kittle dumped a bucket of cold water on that logic. That’s obviously the goal, one that will fuel next season’s fire. The first-team All-Pro knows that it’s also really hard.
“I think every team that loses the Super Bowl says they’re going to be back,” Kittle said. “I think what we have to do is realistically look ourselves in the mirror and say what worked well for us this year, what didn’t work well for us this year and say how we’re going to make ourselves a better team. That’s is what you try and do. You try to go out and win every single game. It doesn’t happen a lot, but that’s what you try to do. We are going to try to figure that out.”
They also have to figure out what the LA Rams learned the hard way in 2019. They lost the Super Bowl last season and didn’t even make the playoffs the following year, despite having an offensive wizard at head coach and tons of talent across the depth chart.
The 49ers have to make some tough financial decisions coming up, with some impact players possibly leaving the organization. Rosters turn over. That’s the modern NFL.
The 49ers will work and hope and pray to get back to Super Bowl and finally get over the top. It just isn’t guaranteed.
Kittle talked about learning how to finish and how to grow from this experience. The 49ers went from 4-12 in 2018 to the Super Bowl, a rapid rise unusual in any sport. The pressure will be on to improve upon this year’s playoff journey, especially after blowing a late lead to the Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
“Losing sucks,” Kittle said. “It just is what it is. Losing on the biggest stage is not fun. We’re going through a lot of emotions, and they aren’t fun ones. Ultimately, though, your goal is to win the Super Bowl. I’ll do whatever I can to come back.”