For obvious reasons, the Dallas Cowboys fans were pulling for the Kanas City Chiefs to down the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 58. The teams gave us an overtime thriller that the Chiefs ultimately won on the back of a legendary drive from Patrick Mahomes.
Everyone recognizes that Kyle Shanahan is a superior head coach to Mike McCarthy, but Shanahan is now 0-3 all-time in the Super Bowl (0-2 as a HC) despite having a double-digit lead in all three games. His game management at times has left something to be desired, but he committed an all-time blunder on Sunday.
After winning the overtime coin toss, Shanahan elected to take the ball instead of deferring. The decision begged to blow up in Shanahan's face and it took minutes to backfire as the Chiefs countered the 49ers' field goal with a walk-off touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Mecole Hardman.
As it turns out, Shanahan didn't have a trick up his sleeve. Multiple 49ers players revealed postgame that they weren't aware of the new overtime rules until they were shown on the jumbotron at Allegiant Stadium.
Cowboys' Mike McCarthy would never live down Kyle Shanahan's overtime gaffe in Super Bowl 58.
Let's call a spade a spade, folks: Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy would never live this down. Our friends over at Blogging the Boys from SB Nation joked in a tweet that McCarthy would "be banished from earth and the galaxy at large" if Cowboys players confessed they didn't know the new overtime rules.
Shanahan's postgame remarks hint he knew that the NFL's new playoff rule allows both team to possess the ball at least once in overtime. Whether that's true or not, the comments made by Arik Armstead and Kyle Juszcyzk all but confirm Shanahan didn't talk it over with his team before the game.
That's absolutely baffling. Even if OT wasn't a point of emphasis in the two weeks (!) of preparation, one would assume San Francisco would've prepared for every possible outcome. Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones noted that the Chiefs prepared a game plan if the game went to overtime.
“We talked through this for two weeks,” Jones said, via The Ringer's Lindsay Jones. “How we was going to give the ball to the opponent; if they scored, we was going for two at the end of the game. We rehearsed it.”
That's how it's done.
Maybe Shanahan actually wanted the ball as he revealed after the game, but the decision to receive the kick effectively gave Patrick Mahomes an extra down to work. That's a catastrophic mistake by itself, but it also gave KC more information to influence their play-calling. It made life easier for arguably the greatest quarterback to grace the NFL and one of the best coaches and play-callers to ever do it.
The outrage after the Cowboys decided to keep McCarthy after the team's Wild Card loss to the Packers was deafening, and rightfully so. Just imagine the discourse if McCarthy was in Shanahan's shoes. It would dominant headlines for weeks, if not months, after the game.
While Shanahan is clearly in a class of his own above McCarthy, the media better bring the same energy in terms of ripping Shanahan for his overtime gaffe because it probably cost the 49ers a Super Bowl.