49ers' Super Bowl dreams crushed (again) by villainous Chiefs

'Hello darkness, my old friend...'

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AMFOOT-SUPERBOWL-CHIEFS-49ERS / PATRICK T. FALLON/GettyImages
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49ers Chiefs final. 22. 42. Final/. 25. 124

For the second time in four years, the 49ers blew a 10-point Super Bowl lead over the Chiefs, and the heartbreak continues for the Faithful.

During the 1980s, the San Francisco 49ers twice delivered Super Bowl heartbreak to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Over 30 years later, the Niners now find themselves in Cincy's position, only at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Four years ago, it was KC that upended head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad in Super Bowl 54, a game in which San Francisco had a 20-10 lead. Now, in Super Bowl 58, the 49ers coughed up a 10-0 lead to ultimately fall 25-22 in overtime to Kansas City, which has now won back-to-back Super Bowls.

The Niners, meanwhile, have now lost their last three Super Bowl appearances. But the previous two pale in comparison to what took place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

And there'll be plenty of "what ifs" for San Francisco, too.

What if kicker Jake Moody, who briefly set a new Super Bowl record with a 55-yard field goal early in the game, didn't low-kick an extra-point attempt on what was the 49ers' go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter? That would have meant the Chiefs' game-tying field goal to send it to overtime wouldn't have mattered.

What if All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey didn't fumble on the Niners' opening possession, one on which they were averaging 9.5 points per play? What if the offense committed to McCaffrey's ground game on a more frequent basis?

What if linebacker Dre Greenlaw didn't suffer a major Achilles injury that allowed KC to attack the middle of the field thereafter?

What if cornerback Darrell Luter Jr.'s foot didn't connect with a Chiefs punt that went for a muff, a KC recovery and a touchdown one play later?

What ifs don't exist, though. All that exists now for San Francisco is another postseason heartbreak, while Kansas City cements its legacy as a dynasty with yet another come-from-behind victory that'll ensure 49ers fans feel plenty of pain all offseason.

Brock Purdy, 49ers offense had its chances but failed that signature moment

In the previous two postseason games, quarterback Brock Purdy drove down the length of the field on what turned into game-winning leads. While he struggled earlier in those bouts, Purdy made up for it with some gutsy play late.

While there were moments for Purdy in the second half and in overtime, there was no signature moment or drive. Even the go-ahead overtime drive left aspects on the table.

Instead, after a 23-of-38 effort for 255 yards with a touchdown and an 83.9 rating, Purdy looked notably pedestrian. And that'll feed his critics all offseason, sadly.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, meanwhile, did what he did best when it mattered most. Not only on the game-tying drive just before the end of regulation but also on Kansas City's lone offensive possession in overtime.

Brutal.

And that'll be another narrative that'll last all offseason, one in which 49ers fans will have nightmares about for a very, very long time.

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