Complete Confusion: 49ers’ Players Admit to Not Knowing Overtime Rules in Super Bowl 58

Super Bowl LVIII was the first game to require the use of the NFL's new playoff overtime rules -- rules that 49ers DT Arik Armstead was not aware of.

LAS VEGAS — Super Bowl XLVIII became the second Super Bowl in NFL history to go to overtime and the first to require an extra period under the new league’s new playoff OT rules, which allow each team to possess the ball at least once.

Sunday night’s Super Bowl became the first NFL postseason game to head to overtime under the altered regulations — but San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Arik Armstead didn’t know about the new format.

Arik Armstead Surprised by New NFL Playoff Rules

The NFL changed its NFL OT rules after Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs devastated the Buffalo Bills in a 2021-22 Divisional Round victory.

KC infamously managed a game-tying field goal with 13 seconds left in regulation before receiving the ball first in overtime. Mahomes drove down the field for a game-winning touchdown, and Bills QB Josh Allen never got to touch the ball.

The league amended its rules that offseason, stipulating that both teams would get the opportunity to possess the ball in OT — no matter what the team that receives the ball first does.

The NFL’s modified overtime regulations were news to Armstead.

“I didn’t even know about the new playoff overtime rule,” Armstead said after the 49ers’ Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs.

“It was a surprise to me. I didn’t know what was going on in terms of that. They put it on the scoreboard and everyone was thinking, even if you score, they get a chance still.”

With the game tied at 19, San Francisco opted to take the ball first in overtime but only managed a field goal.

Mahomes and the Chiefs subsequently authored a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mecole Hardman, giving Kansas City its third Super Bowl trophy in five years.

Asked if the 49ers’ coaching staff had informed San Francisco’s players about the new overtime rules, Armstead was steadfast.

“I wasn’t aware of it,” the ninth-year defensive tackle said Sunday night.

Armstead missed the news, and 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk also indicated he wasn’t familiar with the change.

Players arguably don’t need to be up on every NFL rule, and it’s not as if Armstead of Juszcyzk would have played any harder had they known heading into the Super Bowl that the playoff overtime rules had been revised.

MORE: Chiefs Defenders Describe How They Contained 49ers Running Back Christian McCaffrey

But if some of the 49ers thought an overtime-opening field goal would be enough to win a Super Bowl against Mahomes, they might’ve had a rude awakening on Sunday night.

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