The exciting end to Super Bowl sent fans that were watching the big game trying to understand the NFL’s new postseason overtime rules.
As it turns out, some players on the San Francisco 49ers didn’t know the OT rules either.
Following the 49ers 25-22 overtime loss to the Chiefs, multiple 49ers players acknowledged to reporters that they hadn’t familiarized themselves with the postseason overtime rules, which were changed in 2022. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk said the 49ers had not talked about it as a team prior to Sunday night.
“You know what, I didn’t even realize the playoff rules were different in overtime,” Juszczyk told reporters. “So I assumed you just want the ball because you score a touchdown and win. But I guess that’s not the case. So I don’t totally know the strategy there.”
Another Niners player – defensive lineman Arik Armstead – said players learned about the new rules when they appeared on the Jumbotron at Allegiant Stadium, which caused some confusion not the Niners sideline.
“I didn’t even know about the new playoff overtime rule, so it was a surprise to me,” Armstead told reporters. “I didn’t even really know what was going on in terms of that.”
Meanwhile the Chiefs took a different approach. Chris Jones told reporters that the Chiefs had discussed the new overtime rules for “two weeks.” He added that the Chiefs game plan would’ve been to “give the ball to the opponent. If we score, we go for 2.”
This is the only the second time in NFL history that the Super Bowl went to overtime.
The first time was in 2017, when the New England Patriots overcame a 28-3 deficit to comeback and beat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, in overtime. During that time, the NFL was operating under it’s old overtime rules, which stated that the game would end if the first team that posses the ball in overtime scored a touchdown.
It’s going to be a long offseason for the 49ers.