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Super Bowl LVIII: 49ers unaware of overtime rules in last-gasp defeat

The Kansas City Chiefs became just the second team to win a Super Bowl in overtime on Sunday, and multiple San Francisco 49ers players have since claimed they were unaware of new rules governing the additional period.

The Chiefs sealed back-to-back championships in a dramatic finish in Las Vegas, with Patrick Mahomes throwing the clinching touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman with three seconds remaining in the additional period, sealing a 25-22 comeback win.

The only previous Super Bowl to go to overtime was Super Bowl LI in 2017, when Tom Brady’s New England Patriots recovered from a 28-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.

Read the rest of our Super Bowl LVIII reaction here:
Forlorn Shanahan admits Niners are hurting after Chiefs defeat
Mahomes hails Reid after dramatic Chiefs win
Reid and Kelce play down touchline spat

Sunday’s game, though, was the first Super Bowl to be decided under new overtime regulations introduced in 2022.

During the regular season, the game ends if the first team to possess the ball in overtime scores a touchdown, but under the new rules, both sides get the chance to possess the ball before a postseason game can end.

The 49ers marched down the field with a 13-play drive after opting to receive possession in overtime, but they ultimately had to settle for a 27-yard Jake Moody field goal before the Chiefs took the ball to steal victory.

After the game, 49ers stars Kyle Juszczyk and Arik Armstead both claimed to have been unaware that the Chiefs were guaranteed the chance to mount a drive.

“You know what? I didn’t even realise the playoff rules were different in overtime,” fullback Juszczyk said. “I assumed 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.”

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

“They put it up on the scoreboard, and everyone was like, oh, even if you score, they get a chance still’.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid, by contrast, said his team had been preparing for the possibility of postseason games being decided in overtime since the campaign began.

“We’ve talked about it all year,” Reid said. “We talked about it in training camp, about how the rules were different in the regular season versus the playoffs.

“Every week of the playoffs, we talked about the overtime rule. 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.”

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