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Why did the 49ers take the ball first in Overtime?

Why did the 49ers take the ball first in Overtime?Yesterday, Super Bowl LVIII marked the end of 2023-24 NFL football season and it was one for the history books. The main highlight is of course that the Chiefs won the Super Bowl by defeating the 49ers 25-22 in overtime. However, now that the game is over, it brings out many questions about the decisions made during the game. The main one being Why did the 49ers take the ball first in Overtime.

While statistically speaking, the game was mediocre until the fourth quarter, it was very memorable. According to sportsbook pay per head providers, this was only the second Super Bowl game to go into overtime. In addition, it was also the first Super Bowl to go into overtime with the new rule. Thus, it was also the first time in Super Bowl history that a coach had to make the decision to keep the ball or not during overtime.

Under the new NFL overtime rule, each team will have the opportunity to possess the ball. Therefore, after winning the overtime coin toss, Kyle Shanahan had a decision to make. Whether to keep the ball or let the Kansas City Chiefs have it. In the end, he chose to have the San Francisco 49ers take the ball first in overtime.

Of course, now that they lost the game, many are questioning whether it was the right decision or not.

Why did the 49ers take the ball first in Overtime? Shanahan Explains his Decision

Before we get into it, here are the quick Super Bowl LVIII Highlights to explain how it got to that point. During most of the game, there was no team that was dominating the field. This is because they were both teams were playing stingy defense. Thus, first quarter of the game was scoreless and during the second quarter, the 49ers were leading by 7.

In addition, the Chiefs did not make an actual touchdown until the third quarter. It was not until the fourth quarter that things finally got interesting ending with a 19-19 tie.

Brock won the overtime coin toss by choosing tail. That is when Kyle Shanahan had to make the decision to possess the ball or not. In the end, he chose to take the ball first.

According to Kyle Shanahan’s post Super Bowl interview, the decision was made after a lot of talk about it. He said that hey went through all of the analytics and thought it would be better to possess the ball first. This is because if both teams “matched and score” and it went into sudden death, they would have the ball.

Of course, no one can tell whether the outcome of the game would have been different had he chosen to give up the ball. However, one thing is for sure, his decision will become a debate that will last for a long time.

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