LAS VEGAS — Brock Purdy knew exactly where it went wrong and the sickened expression on his face after he and the 49ers lost Super Bowl 2024 to the Chiefs, 25-22, in overtime Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium, told the story of the level of hurt.
After the 49ers won the coin toss and took the first possession of overtime, Purdy had driven the offense down the Kansas City 9-yard line and was facing a third-and-4.
A touchdown would have put them on the verge of victory.
He was flushed from the pocket by the Kansas City defense, and defensive end Chris Jones in particular, and tried to get the ball to receiver Jauan Jennings for a TD, but the ball never got there.
On fourth down, the 49ers did what they had to do there, which was kick the go-ahead field goal and hope their defense could keep the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes out of the end zone.
They, of course, were unable to do that as Mahomes won the game on a pass to Mecole Hardman with three seconds remaining in OT.
Purdy played well.
He played well beyond his 24 years and 26 NFL starts.
And it was nearly good enough.
Except Mahomes was on the other side of the field.
The 49ers’ second-year quarterback, who played at an MVP level during the regular season, was probably a completion or two way from being named the Super Bowl MVP.
He finished the game 23 of 38 for 255 yards with a TD.
He needed one more TD, though.
“They brought zero [coverage] and I tried to get the ball to [Jennings],’’ Purdy said. “That’s what’s hurting me. We were going to execute the field goal, but obviously that offense is really good and Mahomes is really good. You don’t want to give them the opportunity to go down the field and win the game with a touchdown.
“So, when I wasn’t able to connect with [Jennings], it hurt.’’
Purdy took this loss hard, blamed himself.
He, too, complimented the Kansas City defense, which was particularly stifling on first and second down.
“Their defense was tough; first and second down was tough,’’ Purdy said. “I feel like it was third-and-long [a lot]. I have to do better on first and second down. I feel like they were sticky across the board and played man coverage a lot, and that was a challenge.
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“But, for our defense to give us that many stops like they did, and for us to not do anything with those opportunities, that’s what hurts.’’
Purdy had spoken all week leading up to the game about the importance of scoring TDs not field goals in this game because of how dangerous Mahomes is.
“You have a good [offense] like Chiefs do and what Mahomes can do, for us it’s like, ‘All right, we have to score touchdowns.’ We had opportunities to do so and shot ourselves in the foot. I’ve got to do better in terms of leading the guys and how I handle things in the huddle.”
The 49ers were hurt by a slow start offensively in the second half, punting on their first three possessions.
“I’m still trying to figure it out, I’m not going to lie,’’ Purdy said of the struggles.
San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan had nothing but praise for his young quarterback afterward.
“I’m so proud of Brock the way he’s played all year,’’ Shanahan said. “I thought Brock did a good job. He gave us a chance to win.”