The NFL implemented a unique overtime rule change following the classic Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills divisional round game in 2021. The emphasis on both teams having an opportunity to possess the football came into effect in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is the oldest active coach in the league and has relied on traditional values while embracing changes. He spoke with reporters Monday morning about getting assistance from the analytics department during the overtime session.
“Mike Frazier, our analytics chief, he does all the work on it,” Reid explained. “It can go either way, but the one thing it does is it gives you the opportunity to see what you’ve got to do. They came down and scored three points, you’ve either got to score three or get a touchdown.”
The mindset of knowing both teams will have possession of the ball was critical to decisions regarding the coin flip. Reid also leaned on the officials for certain potential scenario decisions in the extra session.
“We would have kicked the ball off. The officials, actually, are on top of it right away.” said Reid, “There were still a couple of seconds on the clock, and we had the extra officials on the sideline asking me what we would do, and I said we’ll kick off. Patrick (Mahomes) was on the field, and he was the one who had to do it, and then Dave Toub.”
The Chiefs’ defense held the 49ers to a field goal, letting Mahomes and the team know that a touchdown would win the game on that final drive.