Juice hurts for CMC after 49ers' crushing Super Bowl LVIII loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
"It's hard. It's really hard," Juszczyk told reporters after San Francisco's 25-22 loss at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. "I feel for him. I've said since two years ago that nobody's harder on Christian [McCaffrey] than himself. And I hate to see that because he's absolutely the reason we're here and he did a lot of really great things in that game.
"He's the best football player I've ever seen. I hate to see him hurt, and I'll be there for him."
Juice feels especially bad for CMC knowing how hard he is on himself ☹️ pic.twitter.com/H7ElaWVkDY
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) February 12, 2024
McCaffrey's first full season with the 49ers was highlighted by historic feats, the NFL's rushing title, the AP Offensive Player of the Year award and, of course, his first Super Bowl appearance.
But "the most fun" McCaffrey has had playing football was met with a sour ending on Sunday.
“Yeah, it hurts. It hurts deep," McCaffrey told reporters postgame. "It’s something that you dream about as a kid. You've worked so hard for all year and come up short. I think you just have to go through all the emotions as they come, but each day just chip away getting back to normal.
"I don't know how long it’s going to take. It’s still fresh and it still sucks.”
San Francisco's early Super Bowl lead was wiped away as Kansas City tied the score to end regulation. And a controversial overtime decision by 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan ultimately resulted in San Francisco failing to capitalize after winning the coin toss for the extra quarter.
McCaffrey's offensive impact was present in the biggest game of his career, finishing the game with 80 yards rushing on 22 carries, 80 yards receiving on eight receptions and one touchdown off a flashy trick play.
It wasn't enough to get the job done for San Francisco, but Juszczyk, McCaffrey and the 49ers must shift their focus to the 2024 NFL season as their Quest for Six continues.