49ers Players Caught Off Guard by Super Bowl Overtime Rules

For the second time since 2020, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious in the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers — showcasing their strategic prowess in the overtime showdown.

While the Chiefs had meticulously planned for the possibility of overtime, with players and coaches alike well-versed in the rules, the same couldn’t be said for their opponents. Several 49ers players confessed their unawareness of the overtime regulations, caught off guard by the rules varying from the regular season.

“I didn’t even know about the new playoff overtime rule, so it was a surprise to me,” Niners defensive lineman Arik Armstead said. “I didn’t even really know what was going on in terms of that.”

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

The game, only the second in Super Bowl history to reach a deadlock after regulation, unfolded under the new overtime guidelines ensuring fairness for both teams. As the 49ers received the ball first, their hopes were dashed when their drive culminated in a field goal, paving the way for Mahomes’ masterful performance.

In stark contrast to the Niners’ lack of preparation, the Chiefs had meticulously drilled for such scenarios, leaving no stone unturned in their readiness for postseason overtime. Defensive lineman Chris Jones revealed weeks of discussions centered around the altered rules, emphasizing the team’s comprehensive approach to strategizing for every eventuality.

“We knew what our game plan was — had we won the coin toss, whether we want to defer or not, and what our plan was from there,” affirmed safety Justin Reid, highlighting the Chiefs’ thorough preparation dating back to training camp. The team’s cohesive planning extended even to hypothetical scenarios, with a clear roadmap laid out for various situations, ensuring they remained ahead of the curve.

The focal point could be the comprehension held by Niners HC Kyle Shanahan regarding the tactics, a plan devised in collaboration with his coaching assistants and analytical advisors. Nonetheless, delving into Shanahan’s past encounters of postseason anguish—marking his second Super Bowl defeat as the 49ers’ head coach, coupled with his tenure as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator during their Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, makes it impossible not to subject such a pivotal choice to intense scrutiny.