NFL overtime rules left Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman confused after game-winning Super Bowl touchdown
Mecole Hardman had no idea that the Kansas City Chiefs had won their second consecutive Super Bowl. The NFL's new overtime rules were confusing for just about everyone on Sunday night, even for Hardman.
Mecole Hardman was unaware that the Kansas City Chiefs had won the Super Bowl on Sunday night, even after his late touchdown in overtime. The NFL's new overtime rules caused confusion for many, including Hardman. The Chiefs' victory marked just the second overtime in Super Bowl history and the first under the league's new postseason overtime rules.
The NFL changed its postseason rules in March 2022 following complaints from the divisional round playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and the Chiefs. The game went into overtime after the Chiefs scored with 13 seconds left, and then the Chiefs scored on their first drive in overtime without the Bills getting a possession. Under the new rules, both teams get at least one possession in overtime, regardless of whether the team that gets the ball first scores. If the score is still tied after each team gets the ball once, the next score wins. The only way the game would end after one possession is if the kicking team forces a safety on the initial possession.
The 49ers won the toss and chose to take the ball first. They made it into the red zone, but their drive stalled, and they settled for a field goal, putting them up 22-19 and giving the ball back to the Chiefs. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan had discussed this decision ahead of time, but it didn't work out as Mahomes led the Chiefs down the field and eventually found Hardman for the game-winning touchdown.
In the win, Hardman finished with 57 yards and a touchdown on three catches, while Mahomes went 34-of-46 and threw for 333 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Despite Shanahan wanting the ball first, Mahomes stated after the game that they would have chosen the opposite strategy.