49ers 22, Chiefs 25: Super Bowl LVIII Grades

So close.

LAS VEGAS -- The 49ers just lost 25-22 in overtime to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII. Here are the 49ers' grades for this performance.


He managed the game like the game manager he is. He didn't take unnecessary risks or turn the ball over -- instead he played conservatively and tried to let the defense win the game. His receivers struggled to get open, and to Purdy's credit he didn't force many passes into tight windows. But he also didn't play well enough to win. And despite having Christian McCaffrey, the 49ers scored just 19 points in regulation and 22 total, as opposed to four years ago when they had Jimmy Garoppolo and scored 20 points in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs. Purdy clearly is a better quarterback than Garoppolo, and yet the offense didn't play better this time around. Purdy still needs to prove that he's a franchise quarterback, because he didn't play like one tonight. He played like a solid quarterback who isn't quite good enough to win the Super Bowl.


Christian McCaffrey gained 160 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown, but also fumbled on the first drive of the game when the offense was in field-goal range. A mistake like that is critical in a three-point loss.


If the 49ers had won, Jauan Jennings would have been the Super Bowl MVP. He had 42 receiving yards, a touchdown catch and a touchdown pass to McCaffrey. Jennings is the 49ers' most underrated player, and he'll be a restricted free agent this offseason, which means the 49ers could lose him, and they can't afford that. Because Brandon Aiyuk was decidedly mediocre in this game -- 3 catches for 49 yards and no touchdowns. While Deebo Samuel was not good -- 3 catches for 33 yards on a whopping 11 targets. Purdy's numbers would have been so much better had he simply never thrown a pass to Samuel, who just couldn't get open.


The run game struggled, and George Kittle couldn't open. He finished the game with 2 catches for 4 yards, although one of his grabs converted a fourth down, which was clutch.


They committed penalties, gave up lots of pressure and paved the way for the offense to gain just 3.5 yards per carry on the ground. Even Trent Williams got pancaked. The 49ers need to invest in this position this offseason because it's not a Super Bowl caliber offensive line.


Give these guys credit -- they played extremely hard for four quarters. Even Chase Young played his heart out. Then they ran out of gas in overtime and gave up some long runs to Patrick Mahomes.


Fred Warner recorded a team-high 13 tackles and the 49ers shut down the Chiefs run game despite Dre Greenlaw leaving the game early with a torn Achilles.


Ji'Ayir Brown intercepted Patrick Mahomes, but the secondary as a whole gave up two touchdown catches to wide open receivers. The second one ended the Super Bowl -- it was a pass to Mecole Hardman. The 49ers weren't prepared for that play, which the Chiefs called last year for a touchdown in their Super Bowl victory over the Eagles. You'd think Steve Wilks would have prepared his players for that play. More on Wilks in a minute.


Ray Ray McCloud muffed a punt near the 49ers end zone, the Chiefs recovered it and scored a touchdown a few plays later. Which means McCloud is as responsible as anyone for this loss. Jake Moody made a 53-yard field goal and a 55-yard field goal, but he also missed an extra point. Had he made it, the Chiefs wouldn't have been able to tie the game with a field goal at the end of regulation, because they would have been trailing by four points. Instead, they were trailing by 3.


Steve Wilks out-coached Andy Reid for darn near four quarters, which is extremely impressive. Wilks shut down the Chiefs run game and had his defensive line dialed in and playing hard, as opposed to a couple weeks ago in the NFC Championship Game. But in overtime, Wilks had no answers for the zone read or the game-winning touchdown pass which the Chiefs used last year in the Super Bowl as well. The 49ers simply weren't prepared for those plays, and that's on Wilks. But he was much better than the head coach, Kyle Shanahan, who lost his third Super Bowl while leading by 10 points. At halftime, the 49ers were winning 10-3. Then in the third quarter, Shanahan called 11 passes and 3 runs, the 49ers scored 0 points, gave up the lead and that was the difference in the game. Once again, Shanahan forgot about his rushing attack in the most critical moment of the season. And his offense simply wasn't good most of the game. That's on him. He got outcoached by Steve Spagnulo, whom no one considers a genius. Maybe people should stop calling Shanahan a genius until he actually wins a Super Bowl. Because right now, he's a genius at finding ways to lose the biggest game of the season. That's his coaching legacy.

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