Entering the 2023 NFL season, it was a long shot that Chase Young would be playing in Super Bowl 58. Starting the year with the lowly Washington Commanders didn’t give him great odds, but a midseason trade to the San Francisco 49ers changed that instantly.
Young found himself on the field on Sunday in the final game of the season and was one of the Niners' most impactful players. A solid effort in football's biggest game wasn’t enough to help San Francisco to victory though as the Niners blew a 10-point lead and lost a Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs for the second time in five seasons.
Young was visibly emotional after the game, fighting back tears as he spoke to the media in the 49ers locker room.
“It's tough,” Young said, per USA TODAY Sports. “To get in the mix halfway through the season and come with a great group, it's tough.”
Young was disruptive all night, recording the first sack of the game and adding another QB hit later on. He also forced Patrick Mahomes into an intentional grounding penalty and helped put pressure on the Chiefs quarterback for most of the night.
The Niners were stacked on the defensive side of the ball this season, but the addition of Young solidified their pass rush as the best in football. Young was criticized for not performing well since the trade, but his play in the Super Bowl put that to rest.
The agony of defeat
It's hard not to feel for Chase Young and the Niners following a loss like that. Super Bowl 58 was only the second Super Bowl to go to overtime and San Francisco held the lead four different times throughout the game.
It will be a hard loss to get over, but Young will be a free agent when the new league year opens and likely earned himself a nice payday with his performances in the playoffs. There's a chance he returns to the Niners to try and run it back, but he should have plenty of other suitors vying for his signature.
For now, Chase Young is left to reflect on what could have been, but he shouldn’t blame himself after laying it all out there in the biggest game of his life.