49ers players admit being unaware of overtime rules in Super Bowl LVIII: 'It was a surprise'

NFL fans saw the league’s new postseason overtime rules in effect during Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.

As the game went into overtime, the league reminded fans on X about the rules. Both teams have the opportunity to get the ball at least once during overtime unless the team kicking off received a safety on the team’s initial possession. If one team has more points than its opponent after the two possessions, it is declared the winner.

If the game is tied after the two possessions or neither team scored on their first possession, then the game goes into sudden death.

Chiefs players said they had gone over a strategy in case the game went into overtime. Niners players admitted they didn’t know the rules for overtime. San Francisco won the coin toss and chose to receive the ball first.

"You know what? I didn't even realize the playoff rules were different in overtime," 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk said after the game, via ESPN. "I assume 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."


Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Niners defensive end Arik Armstead also didn’t know the rules.

"I didn't even know about the new playoff overtime rule, so it was a surprise to me," he said, via ESPN. "I didn't even really know what was going on in terms of that."


Coach Kyle Shanahan suggested he had a strategy for overtime.

"If both teams matched and scored, we wanted to be the ones with the chance to go win it," he said. "We got that field goal, so we were hoping to hold them to at least a field goal. If we did, we felt it was in our hands after."

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said they had a plan for overtime no matter how the coin toss went.

Patrick Mahomes threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman to top the 49ers, 25-22. He said the team had an overtime strategy.


Chiefs' Hardman blacked out, didn't know he made Super Bowl-winning catch: "No idea"

Mecole Hardman didn't immediately realize he had made the game-ending touchdown catch in the Super Bowl to give the Kansas City Chiefs their second straight championship.

Mahomes said Hardman was confused if he actually won the game.

"I threw a touchdown to this dude at the end of the game, and he looked at me, and he had no idea," Mahomes told the NFL Network. "I said, ‘Dude, we just won the Super Bowl!’ He blacked out, he had no idea. He didn’t even celebrate at the beginning."