Kittle was hoping the season would culminate with a Lombardi Trophy. Alas, it did not pan out that way for San Francisco.
The 49ers led well into the fourth quarter, but Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied for a 31-20 victory.
Kittle said the loss “resonates” with a lot of his teammates, and he plans to use the sour feeling as means for motivation entering the 2020 season, via Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.
“The more you watch it, the more it sucks,” Kittle said. “I will say that. It’s not like a dark cloud following me around. It is what it is, it happened. You gotta move on. I don’t know if I’ll use the loss as motivation, but there’s definitely a hunger there. I think that resonates with a lot of guys. I just wanna play football again.”
The 49ers figure to have plenty more opportunities at a Lombardi.
San Francisco traded defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts, but they retained most of their key players on both sides of the ball. The Niners also replaced veteran left tackle Joe Staley by trading for Trent Williams.
Of course, Kittle is the heartbeat of this team. Not only is he one of the most dangerous playmakers at his position, but Kittle is also an exceptional run-blocker, one who routinely carves out holes for his teammates in the backfield.
The Super Bowl loss might still loom large on his mind, but Kittle–after an All-Pro season in his third year–is ready for redemption. That is good news for the Niners.