Stephen A. Smith clowns the 49ers for not knowing Super Bowl overtime rules
The San Francisco 49ers lost a back-and-forth battle with the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII. The game went into overtime for only the second time in NFL history, and some Niners players admitted to being unfamiliar with the rules.
The 49ers got the scoring underway with a 55-yard field goal early in the second quarter. They followed it up with an exciting trick play that saw wide receiver Jauan Jennings throw a touchdown pass to superstar running back Christian McCaffrey.
The Chiefs would eventually storm back, putting up 13 unanswered points, seven of which were a direct result of a muffed punt by the San Francisco special teams unit.
Brock Purdy and Patrick Mahomes would continue trading blows in the second half, with each quarterback stepping up and making crucial plays when his team needed it most.
At the end of regulation, Kansas City kicked a game-tying field goal to force overtime. And that is when the Niners made a questionable choice during the coin toss.
The 49ers admit to not knowing Super Bowl overtime rules
San Francisco won the toss, and rather than deferring, they chose to possess the football first. Now, in the past, an NFL overtime game was sudden death — meaning the first score would win. Teams always chose to receive the ball.
The rules have been modified slightly throughout the years, but the most significant revision came in 2022 when the league said both teams would have a chance at possessing the ball, even if the first squad scores a touchdown.
Reporters asked players post-game about the decision to take the football in overtime, and defensive tackle Arik Armstead said, “I didn’t even really know what was going on in terms of that.”
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk outright admitted that he was unaware of the rule change, “I assume you just want the ball to score a touchdown and win. I guess that’s not the case.”
Stephen A. Smith blasts Kyle Shanahan for overtime fiasco
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith had strong thoughts after hearing the confusion from the 49ers locker room. “This particular situation is a smear on the entire organization, and let me tell you why.”
“Number one, you’re the coach, Kyle Shanahan. It’s your job to make sure you articulate what the situation is. And that your players know all the rules they need to know,” Smith continued.
Although Shanahan received the brunt of the blame, the veteran reporter saved some smoke for the players, too. “Last time I checked, you can read. You’re playing the game. This is your profession.”
“How in God’s name are you going to be post-game of the Super Bowl and talk about how you weren’t even aware of the circumstances of an overtime game?”
Smith completed his point by throwing a parting shot at the entire organization — from the front office to the coaching staff to the players. “That is just embarrassing. That is a negligence of duty.”