Niners WR Jauan Jennings mired in ‘disappointment’ after notching passing, receiving TDs in Super Bowl LVIII loss

Published: Feb 12, 2024 at 07:50 AMMichael Baca

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Jauan Jennings had a Super Bowl performance to remember despite San Francisco falling short on Sunday night.

The 49ers wide receiver was involved in both of his team’s touchdowns in the 25-22 overtime defeat, throwing Super Bowl LVIII’s first TD on a trick play and catching a go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter.

Jennings became the second player in NFL history to produce both passing and receiving TDs in a Super Bowl, joining Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Had the 49ers come away with a win, Jennings might have been hoisting a Super Bowl MVP trophy just like Foles did six years ago.

Instead, the 26-year-old was left wallowing after coming up with a big performance on the game’s biggest stage. Just how painful was it exactly?

“Anybody got a nail he can step on?” Jennings answered a reporter. “Probably that much.”

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Good things seemed to happen every time Jennings had the ball in his hands, the first instance coming midway through the second quarter when Brock Purdy threw a backward pass to Jennings, who needed to let the double-pass play develop on the other side of the field. Jennings’ look downfield made oncoming Chiefs defenders hesitate just enough for the play to fully develop. He then tossed a perfect ball to Christian McCaffrey, who went untouched for the 21-yard score.

“I can’t say I did think I would,” Jennings said when asked if he’d thought he’d throw a pass in the Super Bowl. “Play was called and I was just ready when my number was called.”

Jennings, a former high school quarterback, was also effective as a receiver. Early in the fourth quarter, he scratched and clawed his way toward the end zone after corralling a short pass to have San Francisco regain the lead, and his 23-yard grab jumpstarted a drive that ended with a go-ahead field goal later in the final frame.

In overtime, a well-run route by Jennings forced Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie to grab ahold of him for an automatic first down on a third-and-long attempt. That drive ended with Jake Moody kicking a go-ahead field, but the Chiefs answered back with a game-winning touchdown drive led by Patrick Mahomes, who took home MVP of Super Bowl LVIII.

Jennings led all 49ers WRs on Sunday with four catches for 42 yards and a TD. Not bad for someone who had just 19 catches for 265 yards and one TD in 2024. Still, the former seventh-round pick couldn’t relish in the afterglow of his big game.

“Disappointment,” Jennings said of his feelings after the loss. “Hard-fought year. A lot of teammates I know that wanted that game — I wish we could’ve got it.”