Prior to this year, the 49ers last made the Super Bowl after the 2012 season and lost a close game to the Ravens.
They returned to the NFC Championship Game the next year, but then went five years without making the playoffs before making it back to the game this year. After leading 20-10, they saw the Chiefs storm back to beat them 31-20.
After the game, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan noted the team’s dramatic turnaround from going 4-12 in 2018 and said that bouncing back from the close loss won’t be an issue for his team.
“It shouldn’t be a problem,” Shanahan said after the game. “We’ll lick our wounds, we’ll get over this. We’ll be fired up for next year, we got a lot of people coming back. I think we surprised a lot of people this year. We knew we had a really good team, I’m very proud of the guys and how much better they got throughout this year, and I expect to get almost all of these guys back and plan on adding a few more. We’re going to rest a little bit, get over this, but we’ll be very fired up for next year.”
The Patriots went from Super Bowl LII losers to winning Super Bowl LIII, but only two other teams — the 1971 Cowboys and 1972 Dolphins — have gone from losing the Super Bowl one year and winning it the next. The 49ers will try to make that a group of four at this time next year.