LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 11: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on in overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
The 49ers took the ball to start overtime. The Chiefs would have opted to kick. That ultimately decided the game.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan made the controversial decision Sunday to begin overtime on offense despite the new NFL playoff rules that make sure both teams get at least one possession. It turns out not many on his team actually knew that rule.
After the 49ers kicked a tiebreaking field goal, the Chiefs answered with a walk-off touchdown to steal a 25-22 victory at Allegiant Stadium.
Multiple San Francisco 49ers players did not know the league’s postseason overtime rule until it was put into action in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 25-22 OT win in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.
Lindsay Jones of The Ringer provided details:
“Multiple San Francisco players said after the game that they were not aware that the overtime rules are different in the playoffs than they are in the regular season, and strategy discussions over how to handle the overtime period did not occur as a team. Defensive lineman Arik Armstead said he learned the details of the postseason rule when it was shown on the Allegiant Stadium jumbotron during a TV timeout after regulation. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk said he assumed the 49ers asked to receive when they won the toss because that’s what you do in the regular season, when a touchdown wins the game. ‘I guess that’s not the case. I don’t really know the strategy,’ Juszczyk said.”
The NFL installed a new postseason overtime rule before the 2022 season as both teams are now guaranteed to have the ball unless the first team’s possession ends in a defensive score. Before, the first team could end the game if it scored a touchdown.
It has basically been known as the Josh Allen rule.
With the new rules, one could argue the 49ers would have been better off taking the ball second if they actually were informed of everything beforehand. The most important part is starting your drive knowing full well what they needed to do to win or keep the game going.