If you thought Patrick Mahomes or even Brock Purdy would throw the first touchdown pass of Super Bowl LVIII, you thought wrong!
Because San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings was the man who did it, on a savvy Kyle Shanahan trick play, where Jennings lofted it to Christian McCaffrey for a 21-yard catch-and-run that totally fooled the Chiefs’ defense.
The even crazier part? Jennings ran a play so alike this one that you have to think Shanahan was up at 4 am one of these sleepless evenings — not on Super Bowl opening night! — dug up some old Jauan Jennings Tennessee Volunteers film, and saw that he was fully capable of executing this very play.
Hey man, I respect it. Leave no stone unturned. You gotta think outside the box in the Super Bowl. This has been a low-scoring, gritty, 10-3 clash through one half of football. As schematically brilliant as Shanahan is, sometimes the 49ers’ dropback passing game could make life a little easier on Purdy. OR, you could just pull this thang off on the grandest stage in all of sports, and potentially make yourself a legend in the process.
If San Francisco goes on to win, Jennings’ TD pass will live on as one of the defining plays of NFL and Super Bowl history. There was a Chiefs defender kind of close by, but he couldn’t quite cut hard enough and react fast enough on the Allegiant Stadium turf to stop McCaffrey before he broke away for a virtual walk-in. touchdown.
I know I just walked through the scenario where Shanahan unearthed this gem of a play from watching Vols footage. Maybe Jennings brought it to him. The guy was actually a high school quarterback before converting to receiver in college. As if the 49ers didn’t have enough weapons all over the place between CMC, Deebo Samuel, Greg Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk.
They had a secret ace up their sleeve all this time in a wide receiver in Jennings who could pass. Might’ve had better luck plugging him into the lineup at QB the last time they faced the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Maybe Jennings wouldn’t have overthrown Emmanuel Sanders like Jimmy Garoppolo did on that decisive deep ball that ultimately cost San Francisco a Lombardi Trophy!
Sorry, Jimmy G. You don’t deserve to catch strays today. Congrats, Jauan. Let’s see if the Niners can hang on and pull this one off.