The San Francisco 49ers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Sunday night after a bold coin toss strategy haunted them in overtime.
Kansas City became the first team to retain the Vince Lombardi Trophy for nearly two decades in Las Vegas, where it prevailed thanks to Mecole Hardman Jr.’s winning touchdown in the final three seconds of overtime.
It was a devastating result for the 49ers, whose bid to win their first Super Bowl in 29 years was taken away from them right at the moment of his death.
However, many were quick to point out that San Francisco brought on itself the agony of overtime by choosing to take the ball first in overtime.
After winning the toss, the Niners opted to play offense first despite new overtime rules that ensure both teams get at least one possession each.
The San Francisco 49ers suffered an agonizing overtime loss in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The Kansas City Chiefs became the first team to retain the Vince Lombardi Trophy for nearly two decades in Las Vegas
49ers’ bold strategy of taking the ball first in overtime after winning the coin toss backfired
After kicking a field goal, they were undone when Mecole Hardman Jr. scored the winning touchdown for the Chiefs.
That meant the Chiefs would have always gone into action knowing exactly what was needed to prevail, giving them a significant lead in overtime.
And when the Niners kicked a field goal to break the tie, the Chiefs responded with the winning touchdown that sealed a 25-22 victory for the reigning champions.
San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed after the game that the decision was made with a possible third overtime possession in mind, which would have given them a chance to finish the game themselves.
“None of us have much experience with that,” Shanahan admitted. ‘We reviewed all the analyzes and talked to those guys. “We decided it would be better to get the ball third because if both teams equalized and scored, we wanted to be the ones who had a chance to win it.”
However, unfortunately for Shanahan and the 49ers, Hardman Jr.’s touchdown meant the third possession never materialized as his bold strategy backfired spectacularly.
And fans were left baffled by the move on social media, questioning Shanahan and San Francisco’s thinking heading into the overtime period.
“I still can’t understand why the 49ers would defer their decision after winning the toss in overtime,” one wrote. “It’s a clear advantage to possess the ball second, and it clearly affected the game when SF settled for a field goal.”
Another said: “The 49ers not deferring their decision after winning the toss was a big mistake.”
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed that they took the ball first with a possible third possession in mind.
But fans heavily criticized the coin toss decision after San Francisco fell to defeat.
“I still can’t understand why you would take the ball first in the new overtime rules,” said a third. ‘People say the 49ers defense was tired. They had time to rest after the FG and the coin toss. If they are still tired, I would call a timeout.
“I think knowing what you need is very valuable in that situation.”
A fourth sentence: ‘With overtime rules, the winning team of the coin toss should never want the ball first, the first team with the ball has to play with the disadvantage of not knowing what it needs to win the game.’
“For the 49ers to win the toss and then not give KC the ball first was a mistake.”
While one simply wrote: “The 49ers lost that game the moment they won the coin toss in overtime and elected to take the ball first.”