49ers’ crushing Super Bowl 58 loss felt like ‘funeral,’ Charvarius Ward admits – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

LAS VEGAS — Plain and simple, the 49ers’ locker room was devastated after their stunning 25-22 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Veteran cornerback Charvarius Ward was one of the few volunteers who spoke to the congregated media in the locker room.

“Feels kind of like a funeral,” Ward said. “The ultimate goal is always to win a Super Bowl. I feel like we were the best team in the league this season, but we weren’t. We were the second best team. Shout out to Kansas City, they played a good game.

“It’s just hurt feelings. Everybody feels the same. Kind of sad. We wish we would have won.”

After limiting Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense to three points in the first half, the 49ers’ defense was not able to replicate the effort after halftime. Just before the end of regulation, Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker made a game-tying 29-yard field to send the game to overtime.

Ward was adamant that the 49ers’ confidence, especially on the defensive side, never wavered.

“Honestly, I thought we were going to win the game,” Ward said. “It’s a lot of money on the defensive side of the ball and a lot of talent. I thought we were going to get it done to be honest. We felt pretty confident.

“That’s the way we wanted it, on our shoulders on the defensive side. They rose to the occasion and on defense, we just didn’t. They moved the ball a lot at the end of the fourth quarter those last two drives they had. They were balling and we weren’t.”

After rookie kicker Jake Moody nailed a 27-yard field goal to give the 49ers a 22-19 overtime lead, the Chiefs would not be denied. They drove the length of the field on a 13-play, 75-yard drive for the game-wining 3-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to wide receiver Mecole Hardman.

“Man, their offense rose to the occasion, and we as a defense, we really didn’t,” Ward said. “Sad to say it. We had two opportunities to stop them at the end of the game and also in overtime. They were making plays and we weren’t. That’s the bottom line, that’s just how the game goes.”

Ward and his teammates now face the prospect of preparing again to start their journey anew, in hopes of playing on one of the biggest stages in all of sports next year. Some will return to the 49ers, while others won’t, making the season’s end even more emotional.

“You don’t know who will be back and who may be gone next year,” Ward said. “Just got to love each other while we can, because it’s a short window to win Super Bowls in the NFL. It’s extremely difficult.

“Everybody is sad. A bunch of guys were crying, but that’s the NFL. There’s only one winner at the end and it wasn’t us.”

With the offseason upon them, the 49ers will clean out their lockers Tuesday with no formal team obligations until organized team activities begin at some point in May.

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