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San Francisco 49ers players didn’t know the rules of overtime

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San Francisco 49ers players didn’t know the rules of overtime

After overtime, the San Francisco 49ers were defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58. Several Niners players had no idea about the rules in overtime.

von Daniel Kugler

The San Francisco 49ers lost 22:25 in overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58. Shortly before halftime they were already 10 points ahead and already had a hand on the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

After the game it became clear that several Niners players had no idea what the rules were in overtime.

The Ringer’s Lindsay Jones reported the details after the game: “Several San Francisco players said after the game that they were unaware that the rules for overtime in the playoffs are different than in the regular season. “

And Jones also named specific names: “Defensive lineman Arik Armstead said he learned the details of the postseason rule when it was shown on the Allegiant Stadium screen during a TV timeout after regulation time. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk said he “I assumed the 49ers asked to get the football first because that’s what they do in the regular season when a touchdown wins the game. ‘I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t really know the strategy.’ ‘.”

the essentials in brief

NFL changed overtime rule before 2022 season

The NFL has introduced a new rule for overtime in the postseason ahead of the 2022 season. Both teams now have the chance to get the ball, unless the first team’s possession ends with a touchdown by the defense.

Up to this point, the team in possession of the ball first could end the game in the playoffs if they scored a touchdown.

On Sunday, the 49ers and Chiefs were tied by 19 points each after regular time. San Francisco won the coin toss before overtime and clinched possession.

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The 49ers’ drive ended with a field goal. Kansas City then got the ball and marched 75 yards down the field, clinching the game with a three-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr.

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The 49ers’ strategy in overtime raises questions

Given the new rules, one could argue, as the “Bleacher Report” does, that the 49ers would have been better off if they had made a different decision after winning the coin toss and only got the ball second.

First of all, it means they couldn’t lose the game if they started on defense – no matter what. But more importantly, the 49ers would have started their drive knowing what they had to do to win the game or just stay in the game.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, had that advantage and knew they needed a field goal to keep the game going or a touchdown to win. This strategic advantage certainly contributed to their ability to score on a 4th-and-1 at their own 34-yard line during the game-winning drive.

Had Kansas City started with the ball and faced the same situation, it is entirely possible that there would have been a punt in that situation.

A costly fallacy for the 49ers. So the Chiefs marched down the field and celebrated their third Super Bowl victory in the last five years.

Did the 49ers miscoach themselves in overtime?

As expected, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan had to face numerous questions about his match plan after the defeat.

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“We wanted to have the third ball. If both teams had scored, we wanted to be the ones who had the chance to win,” said the 44-year-old, explaining why the 49ers wanted to have the ball first after winning the coin toss in overtime .

However, an unnamed former NFL coach emphasized to The Athletic that Shanahan made a big mistake with his decision. And the coach also denounced the assumption that the 49ers’ trainer wanted to let his defense rest after the Chiefs had just tied the game with a 64-yard drive: “Perhaps, but you can’t give up the advantage. KC went for it on fourth down because they had to. That was a big mistake.”

Ultimately, the 49ers don’t seem to have been on the same page when it comes to their overtime mechanics and planning. As far as the Chiefs are concerned, however, their extension plan was apparently planned well in advance.

“We discussed this for two weeks,” defensive lineman Chris Jones told The Ringer. “We discussed how we would give the ball to the opponent. And if they scored, we would go for the two-point conversion at the end of the game. We practiced that.”

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