After the overtime coin toss in Super Bowl LVIII, the San Francisco 49ers had a choice: defer the opening kickoff and yield the ball to the Chiefs, giving their opponent the first opportunity to score but affording themselves the information advantage on their first possession of the extra period; or take the ball first, try their best to score a touchdown, and — if the game ended up tied after each team possessed the ball — get the first shot in a potential sudden-death situation.
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan decided to go with the latter strategy. His team then drove down the field with the first possession of overtime, but stalled out and ended up kicking a field goal. They never got the chance to possess the ball in sudden death, because the Chiefs took their possession right down the field and scored a touchdown, with Mecole Hardman winning the game for Kansas City on a 3-yard reception from Patrick Mahomes.
Following the game, Shanahan explained his thought process.
“It’s just something we talked about,” Shanahan said in his postgame news conference. “None of us have a ton of experience with [the new overtime rules]. But we went through all the analytics and talked to those guys. We just thought it would be better. We wanted the ball third. If both teams matched and scored, we wanted to be the ones who had the chance to go win. So got that field goal, so knew we had to hold them to at least a field goal and if we did, we thought it was in our hands after that.”
This was the first time an NFL game has gone to overtime with the new playoff overtime rules, which were changed following the Chiefs’ victory over the Buffalo Bills in the famous “13 Seconds” AFC title game. Under the new rules, both teams have an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime regardless of what happens on the first possession, unless it ends in a defensive score.
It can be argued that taking the ball…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/super-bowl-2024-49ers-kyle-shanahan-explains-decision-to-take-the-ball-first-to-start-overtime/
Author : Jared Dubin
Publish date : 2024-02-12 06:05:15
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