The day after the Super Bowl is here, and it’s time for a million overreactions to what we saw on Sunday night. One piece of information that emerged after the 49ers‘ Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs is that some players from San Francisco were not aware of the different playoff overtime rules. While players should do their part to know the rules and regulations, Kyle Shanahan and his coaching staff should ensure that everyone is clear on the procedures for overtime.
Andy Reid should have won the Super Bowl MVP for his overtime management
„Multiple San Francisco players said after the game that they did not know that the overtime rules were different in the playoffs.“
Losing to a great team is one thing, but suffering a defeat due to lack of preparation is one of the most serious mistakes a coaching staff can make. That falls on Shanahan. For those who already had a negative view of Coach Shanahan, this news will likely strengthen their argument.
While the NFL overtime rules are nowhere near as simple as they used to be – and become even more complex in the postseason – you must still have your team ready on game day. This includes knowing the possible scenarios that could arise, especially in a playoff game, and that goes quadruple for Super Bowl Sunday. Shanahan is known as a meticulous coach who is sometimes accused of „overthinking“ and simply overlooked a small detail. Well, that was not a small detail: the lack of knowledge about the overtime rules cost him a championship.
This reminds me of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb not knowing an NFL game could end in a tie in 2008. They played against the Bengals in Cincinnati with a 13-13 tie, and following the game, McNabb expressed that he did not know that ties were part of the rulebook.
„I didn’t know that,“ said McNabb. „I’ve never been a part of a tie. I didn’t even know it was part of the rulebook. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to go out and try to win the game. But unfortunately, we ended up with a tie because of the rules.“
The NFL playoff overtime rules are much newer, but that’s still no excuse for Shanahan not preparing his team for every possible outcome. These details make the difference between being a really good or great weekly coach and being one of the all-time great coaches. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has reached this record level in the past five years. As good as Shanahan was in San Francisco, he still has a long way to go before being considered in this conversation.
That doesn’t mean Shanahan won’t reach this level, but he is on a concerning path. Reid lost his first Super Bowl as a head coach in Philly against the New England Patriots. Reid bounced back, but it took a while. He is 3-1 in the Super Bowl with Kansas City. So, Shanahan has time, although it’s tough to start out 0-2 in Super Bowl appearances. It’s understandable why he did not stay for the 49ers‘ postgame party and only said „hello“ to Lil Wayne before leaving the stage.