The NFL’s updated overtime rules left even the players in a state of confusion during Sunday’s Super Bowl, as Mecole Hardman found himself unaware of the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory. After scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers, Hardman had no inkling that his team had secured their second consecutive Super Bowl title.
The game marked the first overtime under the league’s revised postseason OT rules, implemented in March 2022 after controversies in previous playoff matches. These new regulations ensure both teams receive at least one possession in overtime, with the game only ending if the initial possession results in a safety or if one team scores and the other fails to match it.
“I threw a touchdown to this dude at the end of the game, and he looked at me, and he had no idea,” Patrick 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.”
A confused Hardman
Despite the 49ers winning the overtime coin toss and opting to receive the ball first, their drive stalled, allowing the Chiefs to seize victory with a touchdown from Mahomes to Hardman.
“If both teams matched and scored, we wanted to be the ones with the chance to go win it,” Shanahan 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.”
While Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan defended the decision to receive first, Mahomes indicated that the Chiefs would have preferred the opposite strategy.
“We changed the rules, we can execute them both ways,” Mahomes told ESPN.
“I don’t know how they’re going to change it this time.”