For just the second time in NFL history, we saw the Super Bowl go to overtime.
60 minutes wasn’t enough for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, who ended regulation time of Super Bowl LVIII tied at 19.
This led to the first playoff game to take place under the new overtime rules, enacted before the 2022-23 season as a result of the Buffalo Bills losing to the Chiefs in overtime in the 2022 playoffs when Kansas City scored a touchdown without Buffalo having a chance to possess the ball.
In the offseason, the league changed the rule to ensure that both teams get at least one possession in overtime in a playoff game, even if the first team scores a touchdown. This is slightly different from the rule in the regular season, where if the first team scores a touchdown, the game is over.
Despite referee Bill Vinovich announcing these rules before the coin toss, the 49ers decided to receive after winning the toss, a decision questioned at the time. San Francisco went down and kicked a field goal before Kansas City drove down for a touchdown, capturing their second straight Super Bowl.
After the game, at least one 49ers player admitted they were unaware of the rules, leading ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith to lash out at the 49ers and head coach Kyle Shanahan Monday on First Take.
"That is just embarrassing, and that is a negligence of duty." – Stephen A. Smith tears into Kyle Shanahan for the San Francisco 49ers players reportedly not knowing the NFL overtime rules. pic.twitter.com/lnuIxZOK8g
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) February 12, 2024
“This situation is a smear on the entire organization, and let me tell you why. You’re the head coach, Kyle Shanahan. It’s your job to articulate what the situation is and ensure that your players know all the rules they need to know. That’s number one,” Smith said before, noting that the players aren’t blameless.
“This is your profession. How in God’s name are you going to be postgame in the Super Bowl talking about how you weren’t aware of the circumstances of an overtime game with the Super Bowl on the line?”
Smith wasn’t done, as he went on to call the display “embarrassing” and “negligence of duty.”
If nothing else, the 49ers did a service to the league. It’s virtually certain that in the next playoff game to go to overtime, both sides will be well aware of the rules.
[Awful Announcing on Twitter/X]