Charvarius Ward

Ward, Chiefs dared Jimmy G to throw in Super Bowl 54 

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The 49ers' heartbreaking collapse in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV played right into the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs' game plan, according to one member of their championship roster from the 2019 NFL season.

During an interview on Arik Armstead's "Third and Long podcast," former Chiefs defensive back and current member of the 49ers' secondary, Charvarius Ward, revealed that Kansas City's blueprint for victory centered around forcing San Francisco to rely on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to make plays.

"Our game plan was to put the ball in Jimmy's [Garoppolo] hands, I hate to say that," Ward told Armstead. "Our game plan was kind of like to put the ball in Jimmy's hands, but Kyle Shanahan was just calling run after run. For some reason in the fourth quarter, they just stopped running the ball, and we kind of took over a little bit. I don't want to say too much about it because I'm part of the organization now.

"Going into the game, we was extremely confident, but once y'all came out doing all that, what y'all was doing, we was like, 'Damn these boys kind of good,' know what I'm saying? We got to like man up and throw it up. That's kind of like what we did in the fourth quarter."

The 49ers entered the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs with a 20-10 lead before their offense ultimately sputtered down the stretch as Kansas City rattled off 21 unanswered points. Garoppolo, in particular, had a brutal finish to the game, posting a 5.8 QBR in the fourth quarter as San Francisco's lead evaporated.

Garoppolo appeared to be in the running for Super Bowl MVP honors for the majority of the game, completing 17 of his 20 pass attempts through the first three quarters. However, in crunch time, Garoppolo regressed significantly, going 3 for 11 for 36 yards, one interception and a 2.8 passer rating.

After dashing the 49ers' championship hopes four years ago, Ward now finds himself playing a critical role on San Francisco's defense as they pursue the championship that fell just short of their grasp in Super Bowl LIV.

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