49ers did NOT know the Super Bowl overtime rules were different to the regular season before San Francisco’s coin toss decision backfired… while the Chiefs had ‘rehearsed’ it for weeks

  • The Chiefs defense held the 49ers to a field goal in the sudden-death period
  • Mecole Hardman scored the game-winning touchdown to clinch 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 factored into the 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 warranted an extra period after both teams were deadlocked at 19-19 at the end of regulation.

When the overtime coin toss occurred, the 49ers elected to get 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 they wanted the ball on third down in overtime. But the 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 it, but we went through all the analytics and talked to those guys, and we just decided we wanted the ball on third down,” Shanahan said.

Kyle Shanahan and several 49ers players admitted they didn't know the new overtime rules

Kyle Shanahan and several 49ers players admitted they didn’t know the new overtime rules

The 49ers lost the Super Bowl to the Chiefs, 25-22, in an overtime thriller at Allegiant Stadium

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 punt on a field goal

San Francisco opted to have the ball first in overtime, but was forced to punt on a field goal

Kansas City's Mecole Hardman scored the game-winning touchdown for the title in overtime

Kansas City’s Mecole Hardman scored the game-winning touchdown for the title in overtime

While uncertainty surrounded the 49ers entering the fifth period, the Chiefs were well prepared for the situation. Kansas City safety Justin Reid told The Ringer that they discussed the overtime rules as far back as training camp.

Defensive lineman Chris Jones also shared how the Chiefs went as far as practicing their overtime strategy.

“We talked through this for two weeks,” Jones said The Ringer. ‘How we are going to give the ball to the opponent; if they scored we went for two at the end of the game. We practiced it.’

In addition, several 49ers players admitted that they did not know that the overtime rules in the playoffs were different than in the regular season. As a result, the team did not plan a strategy for an overtime scenario before the Super Bowl.

Fullback Justin Juszczyk said he accepted they asked to let their offense in first like in the regular season.

“I don’t think that’s the case,” Juszczyk said. “I don’t really know the strategy.”

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead admitted he learned about the new overtime rules Sunday when they were shown on the jumbotron after the fourth quarter.