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49ers say they'll be back

  • Colin Kaepernick runs for room in the second quarter during the 49ers loss to the Ravens in Superbowl XLVII in New Orleans, Sunday Feb. 3, 2013. Baltimore beat San Francisco 34-31. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)

NEW ORLEANS — In the grim aftermath of Super Bowl XLVII, Colin Kaepernick made a promise and Frank Gore made it, too.

They said the 49ers weren't done with Super Bowls, and they had the right and maybe even the responsibility to make that kind of pledge Sunday night.

Because this whole 49ers season was a promise, wasn't it?

Super Bowl XLVII: San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens

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Not just about the 2012 season or Super Bowl XLVII, but about the next several years, and maybe the next era of Super Bowls.

That's where this has to be headed, even if the 49ers feel like they left a title on the table this season.

Unless this unravels under the weight of frustration, because of dramatic injury, or because of some other football bane, the 49ers are young enough and smart enough to compete for many more championships.

And, with Kaepernick growing into excellence and the 49ers defense maintaining it, they should win a few of them, too.

The 49ers were the rightful favorites on Sunday but lost 34-31 to Baltimore after a slew of early 49ers' mistakes, an incredible comeback, and then failure in the final minutes.

Coach Jim Harbaugh, Kaepernick and the rest did not fulfill their apparent destiny this time; they had every opportunity, and they came up short for now, just as they came up short against the New York Giants a round earlier last season.

(And yes, this means the 49ers have had their seasons ended by the eventual champions the last two years.)


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