It’s the day after the Super Bowl and time for a million overreactions to what we saw Sunday night. One piece of information that surfaced following the 49ers Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs, is that some of San Francisco’s players were unaware of the different playoff rules. While players must do their part to know rules and regulations, Kyle Shanahan and his coaching staff must be sure that everyone is clear about overtime procedures.
Andy Reid should have won Super Bowl MVP for his overtime management
“Several San Francisco players said after the game that they weren’t aware that overtime rules were different in the playoffs.”
Losing to a great team is one thing, but falling into defeat due to lack of preparation is one of the most serious mistakes for a coaching staff. It falls into Shanahan’s lap. So, for those who already felt a certain way (especially negatively) about Coach Shanahan, this news will likely strengthen your argument.
While overtime rules in the NFL aren’t nearly as simple as they once were — and in the postseason they get even more complicated — you still need to have your team ready on game day. That includes knowing what possible scenarios could come their way, especially in a playoff game, and that goes fourfold for Super Bowl Sunday. Shanahan is known as a meticulous coach who has been accused of sometimes “overthinking” and simply missing one small detail. Well, it wasn’t a small detail: Not knowing the overtime rules cost him a championship.
It brings to mind the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb doesn’t know an NFL game may end in 2008. They faced the Bengals in Cincinnati to a 13-13 tie, and after the game, McNabb expressed that he didn’t know there was a tie in the rule book.
“I didn’t know that,” McNabb said. “I have never been part of a tie. I never even knew it was in the rule book. I was looking forward to the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game. But unfortunately we settled with the rules with a draw.”
The NFL playoff rules are much newer, but that’s still no excuse for Shanahan not preparing his team for every possible outcome. Those details are what make the difference between a really good or great week-to-week coach and being one of the best of all time. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has risen to that stellar level over the past five years. Because as good as Shanahan was with San Francisco, he still has a long way to go before he’s even considered in that conversation.
That doesn’t mean Shanahan will never reach that level, but he’s on a troubling path. Reid lost his first Super Bowl as head coach in Philly against the New England Patriots. Reid jumped back, but it took a while. He is 3-1 in Super Bowls with Kansas City. So, Shanahan has time, although starting 0-2 in Super Bowl appearances is tough. It’s understandable why he didn’t stay for the 49ers’ postgame party and just said hello to Lil Wayne and then left the stage.