- Chiefs defense held 49ers to one field goal in sudden death period
- Mecole Hardman scored the winning touchdown to seal the Chiefs’ title
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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted that inexperience with the NFL’s new playoff overtime rules influenced his decision-making that led to their Super Bowl loss on Sunday.
The Kansas City Chiefs won their second straight title, 25-22, in an overtime thriller in Las Vegas. The game merited an extra period after both teams were tied 19-19 at the end of regulation.
When the coin toss was made in overtime, the 49ers opted to receive the ball first and got their wish. However, after the Chiefs defense held them to a field goal, Patrick Mahomes found Mecole Hardman on the opposite end to win the game for Kansas City.
After the game, Shanahan admitted that they wanted the ball third in overtime. But new ‘sudden death’ rules in postseason games meant Kansas City’s touchdown was the nail in the coffin.
“None of us have a lot of experience with that, but we looked at all the analytics and talked to those guys, and we decided we wanted the ball third,” Shanahan said.
Kyle Shanahan and several 49ers players admitted not knowing the new overtime rules
The 49ers lost the Super Bowl to the Chiefs, 25-22, in an overtime thriller at Allegiant Stadium.
San Francisco opted to have the ball first in overtime but was forced to score from a field goal.
Kansas City’s Mecole Hardman scored the title-winning touchdown in overtime
While uncertainty hung over the 49ers entering the fifth quarter, the Chiefs were well prepared for the situation. Kansas City safety Justin Reid told The Ringer that they discussed overtime rules since training camp.
Defensive lineman Chris Jones also shared how the Chiefs even went so far as to rehearse their overtime strategy.
“We talked about this for two weeks,” Jones said, according to The ringer. ‘How were we going to give the ball to the rival; If they scored, we would go for two at the end of the game. We rehearsed it.’
Additionally, several 49ers players admitted not knowing that the overtime rules in the playoffs were different than those in the regular season. As a result, the team did not strategize an overtime scenario before the Super Bowl.
Fullback Justin Juszczyk said he assumed they asked to let their offense in first like they would in the regular season.
“I guess that’s not the case,” Juszczyk said. “I don’t really know the strategy.”
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead admitted he found out about the new overtime rules Sunday when they were displayed on the jumbotron after the fourth quarter.