It was the Super Bowl all over again. The San Francisco 49ers had not played their best game. They had made mistake after mistake and committed turnovers in the most inopportune times but they still managed to fight back and give themselves an opportunity to win the game.
Just like in last year’s Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick drove the 49ers down the field and was a single play away from winning the thing but was denied in the end zone.
Thinking of Richard Sherman’s tipped ball at first eclipses the entire 49ers season and labels it as an utter failure; after all this team filled with immense talent was supposed to win it all. But thinking that way would deprive us of the most important thing of all: the journey in its entirety.
Although it’s true that in the end only one team is truly happy, I’m here to say that the San Francisco 49ers had an excellent season. In what has now become a quarterback-driven league, the 49ers managed to play a physical brand of football that was exciting to watch and gave Candlestick park the goodbye it deserved. There were some players like NaVorro Bowman and Eric Reid who emerged as stars on the defensive side of the ball and although Kaepernick had an up and down season, he showed that he can carry a team in the playoffs.
There were plays like Frank Gore’s 51-yard run against the Seahawks and Bowman’s pick six against the Falcons that put 49er nation in an extreme frenzy and showed why the game of football is the nation’s number one love.
So instead of playing the blame game and before fans start playing GM, take a moment to look back on a team, a group of guys that will never all share the same locker room again, and realize that they went 12-4 and went to a third straight NFC championship. Yes, the sixth Super Bowl championship remains the ultimate goal, but that should not take away from enjoying the ride that this current group has provided.