The San Francisco 49ers are dealing with a head-throbbing, three-pronged Super Bowl hangover that has threatened to derail their season.
While most years the Super Bowl loser has to fight back the pain and doldrums of losing after getting inches to the ultimate goal, Kyle Shanahan's team is experiencing a triple-banger with the Lombardi loss coupled with an offseason derailed by COVID-19 and a rash of injuries that have sapped the Niners talent base.
"I think it's frustrating," Shanahan told Rams beat reporters Wednesday, via the team's official transcript. "I mean, just like you said, the Super Bowl hanging over, is just the big questions you've got to answer all the time and especially when you don't have any offseason, so it kind of lingers even longer because I mean, the first time we came back after the Super Bowl was training camp. So, it was kind of right there with the questions and stuff."
Shanahan suggested that due to the unusual offseason, some players weren't able to get over the Super Bowl loss in the fashion other teams have been afforded, including Sunday's opponent in L.A.
Still, Shanny isn't making any excuses, once again noting that each year is different in respect to the previous season.
"But as far as going through it, I mean, it has no correlation with anything," he said. "We're trying to figure out our team now and battle through a number of injuries and we're trying to play better football. But to compare that to a year before anything, we have a different team this year. You have a different team every year and that's something we're working through.
"We're not at our best right now and we're trying to get there, but quickly once the season starts, once you get into a game, I feel the year before, it's out of your mind completely. It might be a little bit different, maybe Sean [McVay] and their situation, because you come back in phase one and phase two and probably certain things you can address and work through. But by the time we came back, there's nothing you can talk about. The season was here, so you move on and you go and try to have a better year this year and we're not there, but we're working on to turn that around."
Injuries have been a massive reason this particular season in San Francisco has gotten off to a disappointing 2-3 start. Between the likes of Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Richard Sherman, Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel and others getting hurt and missing at least some time this season, the Niners are a shell of their potential.
The 49ers have lost three home games to open the season, with their only wins coming in New York. If they fall Sunday to L.A. to open the year 0-4 at home, it'll take a massive swing to get back to the playoffs a year after getting so close to winning the Super Bowl.