Emmanuel Sanders, like most 49ers fans, still thinks about that overthrown Jimmy G pass late in Super Bowl loss


Emmanuel Sanders has changed teams this offseason, but he hasn’t moved on from a particular memory with the San Francisco 49ers.

There were plenty of signature plays from the Kansas City Chiefs’ comeback win in Super Bowl LIV over the 49ers. If you’re focused on the 49ers’ side of the story, one play stands out.

With less than two minutes to go and the 49ers trailing 24-20, Sanders got behind the Chiefs’ defense. It could have been one of the most dramatic go-ahead touchdowns in Super Bowl history, but Jimmy Garoppolo overthrew Sanders downfield. The pass was incomplete and that was the 49ers’ last real shot at the win.

Sanders hasn’t forgotten, and he admitted it’s unlikely he ever will.

Emmanuel Sanders not over Super Bowl loss

Sanders signed with the New Orleans Saints in the offseason. He has a ring with the Denver Broncos, and will have a chance with another this season in New Orleans. But nothing can make up for that missed chance.

“I don’t know if it’s a situation I’ll ever get over,” Sanders said on FS1’s “First Things First,” via CBS. “At the end of the day, it is what it is. It’s nothing I can control, you kind of got to let it go.”

Letting it go isn’t that easy. It was not a simple pass for Garoppolo, but he missed and it could have won the 49ers a Super Bowl.

“I would be lying to you if I haven’t been out on the football field and told a quarterback to give me a post route and simulated me catching it and running into the end zone, envisioning scoring that game-winning touchdown,” Sanders told FS1. “That right there could have been a legendary moment for me and Jimmy, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Instead of walking into airports and stores and people saying ‘Great catch man, you’re a legend.’ Now they say, ‘Aw man, you were this close.’ ”

Every close Super Bowl loss has a play like that. It might be the Scott Norwood missed field goal, the Seattle Seahawks not handing Marshawn Lynch the ball or pretty much any one of 16 plays the Atlanta Falcons could have made to clinch a title.

There were a couple breakdowns for the 49ers and the missed opportunity to Sanders will linger.

Emmanuel Sanders was almost a Super Bowl hero for the 49ers. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Emmanuel Sanders was almost a Super Bowl hero for the 49ers. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Sanders also talks Antonio Brown

Sanders also had some thoughts on his former teammate with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Antonio Brown.

Brown was out of football most of last season, playing just one game with the New England Patriots. His long list of issues off the field has been talked about endlessly. But Sanders says Brown deserves another shot.

“He should have an opportunity to be back in the league with the right team,” Sanders told FS1. “When he steps on the field, he’s a game-changer. He’s a guy that can literally beat you by himself.”

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