Latest Global News | San Francisco 49ers players admit they didn’t know new Super Bowl overtime rules following loss to Chiefs

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Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LVIII.



CNN
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Super Bowl LVIII came down to the wire. Sixty minutes of action couldn’t separate the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers and so the Super Bowl went to overtime.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the 49ers’ decision to take first possession in overtime has come under scrutiny given San Francisco’s defeat.

The 49ers won the coin toss and chose to have first possession. With it, they scored a field goal. Then it was the Kansas City Chiefs’ turn. A 14-play, 75-yard drive ensued and culminated in a three-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Mecole Hardman to crown the Chiefs and give them their third Super Bowl title in five seasons.

Although San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said he had discussed a possible overtime coin toss scenario before Super Bowl LVIII with his analytics team, a number of 49ers players have admitted that they weren’t aware that overtime rules had been changed for playoffs games.

Previously, the team who had the first possession of overtime could win with a touchdown on the opening drive. However the new rule states that both teams are guaranteed at least one possession.

“You know what? I didn’t even realize the playoff rules were different in overtime,” 49ers full back Kyle Juszczyk told reporters. “I assume you just want the ball to score a touchdown and win.

“I guess that’s not the case. I don’t totally know the strategy there. We hadn’t talked about it, no.”

San Francisco defensive lineman Arik Armstead admitted that he didn’t know about the postseason overtime rules until they put them on the big screen at Allegiant Stadium.

“They put it on the scoreboard, and everyone was like ‘Oh, even if you score, they get a chance still,’” Armstead told reporters, per ESPN.

Conversely, the Chiefs players explained that they’d been talking about the rule change all year so were prepared for the big moment.

“We’ve talked about it all year,” Chiefs safety Justin Reid said, per ESPN.
“We talked about it in training camp about how the rules were different in regular season versus the playoffs. Every week of the playoffs we talked about the overtime rule.”

Kansas City defensive lineman Chris Jones called the 49ers “crazy” for deciding to take the ball first, given the possible implications.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters after the victory that if he had won the coin toss, his team would have kicked the ball off to begin overtime, a decision they came to after consultation with the team’s analytics department.

“It can go either way, but the one thing it does, it gives you an opportunity to see what you’ve got to do and they came down and scored three points, you’ve either got to score three or you’ve got to get a touchdown,” Reid explained.

“The one thing that people didn’t realize is that clock keeps going. So we were down low there but you’re fixing to start a new quarter, so the game wasn’t over in a tie. That wasn’t happening, not in the playoffs. And so we would, we would keep playing.

“And it’s a unique rule. It doesn’t get used very often. But I think it was great for the National Football League. It was great for the viewers of the National Football League. I mean, they got an extra quarter of football and people love this thing. It’s a great sport and people love watching it, especially with the competition level so high.”

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes holds the Lombardi Trophy after the Chiefs won Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, February 11. Mahomes was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

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Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce kisses his girlfriend, singer Taylor Swift, during the postgame celebrations.

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Chiefs guard Trey Smith cries on the field after his team won the game.

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Confetti falls at Allegiant Stadium, which is just off the Las Vegas Strip.

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Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, second left, celebrates with staff members after the game.

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San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk walks off the field after the game.

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Mahomes lies on the ground after throwing the game-winning touchdown to Mecole Hardman Jr.

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Chiefs players run onto the field after the game-winning touchdown.

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Hardman, front right, celebrates with Mahomes after they connected for the last touchdown.

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Mahomes, bottom right, runs toward Hardman after the last play.

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Mahomes runs for a first down during the game-winning drive.

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The Chiefs offense huddles up in overtime.

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49ers running back Christian McCaffrey runs down the sideline for a big gain during overtime. The play set up a Jake Moody field goal that gave the 49ers a 22-19 lead.

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Referee Bill Vinovich performs the coin toss before overtime. This was just the second Super Bowl in history to go to overtime.

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Kelce, left, is unable to catch a pass while defended by 49ers linebacker Fred Warner late in the fourth quarter.

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Mahomes scrambles during the second half.

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Moody kicks a 53-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter to give his team a 19-16 lead. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker would tie the game with three seconds left.

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49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings catches a 10-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The 49ers led 16-13 after the play. The extra point was blocked.

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Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones chases 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy during the second half.

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49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan looks on during the fourth quarter.

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Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling celebrates after catching a 16-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. The touchdown gave the Chiefs their first lead of the game, and they led 13-10 going into the fourth quarter.

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The 49ers’ Ray-Ray McCloud III tries to recover a muffed punt in the third quarter. The Chiefs recovered and then scored a touchdown on the next play.

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Butker kicks a 57-yard field goal in the third quarter to cut the 49ers’ lead to 10-6. It is the longest field goal in Super Bowl history, eclipsing the 55-yarder that Moody kicked in the first half.

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A Chiefs fan looks dejected as his team trailed during the game.

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49ers safety Ji’Ayir Brown intercepts a Mahomes pass on the opening drive of the second half.

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49ers fans celebrate a touchdown at the Circa Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, just a short drive away from where the game was taking place.

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McCaffrey scores the first touchdown of the game. The 21-yard score in the second quarter came off a trick play where Jennings threw a pass across the field to McCaffrey. The 49ers went into halftime with a 10-3 lead.

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49ers starting linebacker Dre Greenlaw injured his Achilles, CBS reported, as he jogged onto the field for a play in the second quarter.

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Kelce yells at Reid after Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco fumbled in the red zone during the second quarter.

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Pacheco fumbles the ball in the second quarter.

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Hardman pulls in a 52-yard catch during the second quarter. The play put the Chiefs in the red zone, but Pacheco fumbled the ball away on the next play.

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Moody makes a 55-yard field goal to open the scoring in the second quarter. It was the longest field goal in Super Bowl history until Butker topped it later in the game.

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Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie defends a pass intended for 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel during the second quarter.

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49ers wide receiver Chris Conley is fired up after a first-half play.

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49ers defensive lineman Javon Hargrave covers up Mahomes. Mahomes was frequently under pressure in the first half, and the 49ers sacked him twice.

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McCaffrey runs the ball early in the game.

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Mahomes drops back to pass in the first half.

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49ers tight end George Kittle prepares to make a catch in the first quarter.

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McCaffrey fumbles the ball on the opening drive.

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Purdy gets set to pass in the first quarter.

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Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton hits 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk on an early play.

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Team captains line up for the pregame coin toss.

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Planes fly over Allegiant Stadium before the game.

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Reid adjusts his headset before kickoff.

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The American flag is unfurled as Reba McEntire performs the national anthem before the game.

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From left, rapper Ice Spice, Swift and Lively hang out before the start of the game.

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McEntire sings the national anthem.

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Kelce takes the field before the start of the game.

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Singer Andra Day performs “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during the pregame festivities.

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Rapper Jay-Z is seen with his two of his children, Blue Ivy and Rumi, before the game.

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Fans line up outside the stadium before the game.

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Las Vegas showgirls wait to pose for pictures with fans outside the stadium.

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Mahomes’ wife, Brittany, poses for a photo with their children, Sterling and Bronze, before the game.

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Fans pose for a photo before the game.

According to NFL rules for the playoffs, both teams are guaranteed an opportunity to possess the ball at least once, even if the team receiving the kickoff scores a touchdown. The game can only end sooner if the team that kicks off the period forces a safety on the receiving team’s initial possession.

Teams play a 15-minute period. Once both teams have had an opportunity to possess the ball, whichever team takes the lead next will win the game.

The rule was changed following a game in the 2022 postseason when the Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills 42-36 by winning the coin toss and scoring a touchdown with the first possession, ending the match with the Bills never getting an opportunity to reply.

The ending of the AFC divisional round matchup between the Chiefs and the Bills shined a light on the rule, with some fans declaring it the worst in sports.

Previously, the team that received the opening kickoff in overtime would win the game if they scored a touchdown on their first possession.

The NFL’s overtime rules now are more similar those of college football, which many had argued were fairer.