San Francisco’s determination to take the ball first in additional time throughout their Tremendous Bowl loss to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs can be debated all offseason. That scrutiny can be even stronger after some 49ers gamers admitted they weren’t conscious of latest guidelines concerning additional time.
For a few years, additional time ended as quickly as one workforce scored. Then the rule was altered so each groups may possess the ball — until the primary workforce on offense scored a landing. In that case, the sport would finish on that TD, and that’s what occurred when New England beat Atlanta 34-28 in Tremendous Bowl 51.
However the latest rule change mandated that within the postseason, each groups can possess the ball even when the primary offensive workforce scores a landing. Now NFL playoff additional time much more carefully resembles the faculty OT format, the place groups alternate possessions. And in faculty, groups typically prefer to have the ball second as a result of they’ll have a greater sense of what they want on their drive.
On Sunday, the 49ers took the ball in additional time and drove for a subject aim, then misplaced 25-22 when Patrick Mahomes guided Kansas Metropolis 75 yards the opposite method for the profitable landing on Sunday evening. In the event that they’d identified three factors wouldn’t be ok, they might have gone for a landing in that spot.
This time, Kansas Metropolis had that benefit, which meant the Chiefs had no selection however to go for it on fourth-and-one from their very own 34, down three. They transformed and ultimately reached the top zone on a three-yard landing move from Mahomes to Mecole Hardman.
“That’s one thing we talked about,” San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned. “None of us have a ton of expertise of it.”
Nonetheless, some 49ers gamers mentioned they weren’t conscious of the rule. “I didn’t even know in regards to the new playoff additional time rule, so it was a shock to me,” San Francisco defensive lineman Arik Armstead mentioned. “I didn’t even actually know what was occurring by way of that.”
Shanahan mentioned he had talked together with his analytics workforce earlier than Sunday’s sport about additional time eventualities. That dialogue doesn’t seem to have filtered via to at the very least a few of his gamers.
“You realize what? I didn’t even understand the playoff guidelines had been totally different in additional time,” fullback and Harvard graduate Kyle Juszczyk mentioned. “I assume you simply need the ball to attain a landing and win. I suppose that’s not the case. I don’t completely know the technique there. We hadn’t talked about it, no.”
In distinction, Kansas Metropolis gamers mentioned they knew in regards to the new rules.
“We talked for 2 weeks about new additional time guidelines,” defensive deal with Chris Jones mentioned. “Give the ball to the opponent. If we rating, we go for [a two-point conversion].”
Security Justin Reid mentioned the Chiefs had conversations in regards to the rule change relationship again to coaching camp. “We’ve talked about all of it yr,” Reid mentioned. “We talked about it in coaching camp about how the foundations had been totally different in common season versus the playoffs. Each week of the playoffs we talked in regards to the additional time rule.”
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid admitted that even with planning and data of the foundations, it’s not clear what the fitting tactic is to comply with.
“There’s two methods: You kick it off otherwise you obtain it,” Reid mentioned. “I’m unsure there’s a proper reply, essentially. Ours ended up being the fitting one. That’s what we felt was the fitting factor to do.”
One protection of San Francisco’s determination to take the ball includes what occurs if the sport remains to be tied after each groups have had a possession. Then, the sport turns into sudden loss of life – so there’s a transparent potential edge in having the ball third. If the sport was nonetheless tied after the primary two possessions, the 49ers would have had the ball and any rating would have received the championship.
“We went via all of the analytics and talked to these guys,” Shanahan mentioned. “We wished the ball third. If each groups matched and scored, we wished to be those with an opportunity to go win.”
As for Armstead, he mentioned he was first conscious of the foundations when he glanced on the stadium’s video screens.
“They put it on the scoreboard, and everybody was like ‘Oh, even in case you rating, they get an opportunity nonetheless,’” Armstead mentioned.