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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Baldy weighs in on Kyle Shanahan’s OT decision, 49ers being unaware of rule change

Feb 13, 2024 at 11:16 AM--

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan faced criticism for choosing to receive the football in overtime during Super Bowl 58 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Ultimately, the decision didn't work out for the 49ers, but the coach has no regrets about wanting his offense on the field to start the extra period.

"We wanted the ball third," Shanahan explained after the game. "If both teams matched and scored, we wanted to be the ones who had the chance to go win and got that field goal. So we knew we had to hold them to at least a field goal, and if we did, then we thought it was in our hands."

Brian Baldinger sees no issue with the decision. The NFL analyst joined Bay Area radio station 95.7 The Game on Tuesday morning to discuss what has become a controversial call.

"I thought the reasoning that Kyle gave was sound," Baldinger said on "The Morning Roast" show. "And look, they easily could have scored on the opening drive. And if [Chiefs QB Patrick] Mahomes goes down and matches that score like he did, you get the third possession, exactly what Kyle was saying.

"I didn't have any problem. [LB] Fred's [Warner] out there, he calls tails, it comes up tails, we want the ball. They had a good drive going. Third-and-12, there's [FB Kyle Juszczyk] for 13. I mean, they converted a bunch of good plays to get down there. They didn't finish the drive."

There has also been much discussion about the 49ers players not knowing the new overtime rules. Juszczyk and defensive tackle Arik Armstead admitted they were unaware of any discussions regarding them this season, unlike the Kansas City Chiefs, who regularly ensured their players were aware of the rule changes.

Again, Baldinger is unconcerned with this narrative.

"One, I knew Kansas City knew the rules because they changed the rule," Baldinger remarked. "It was their win against Buffalo that changed the rule. So, you know, as soon as it was in, and they're like, [Bills QB] Josh Allen is sitting there on the bench with a long face going, 'They're going to change this rule. You can't not let Josh Allen get [the football].'"

Baldinger is referring to the playoff game between the Chiefs and Bills following the 2021 season. The Chiefs received the football first in overtime and proceeded to score, winning the game without Allen and the Bills offense stepping foot on the field again.

"It really doesn't even matter," Baldinger continued. "They got the ball first. They were going down there to score. And whether they thought the game was going to be over if they scored a touchdown or not is immaterial because they didn't score. But really, it doesn't make any difference.

"There's a lot of people that needed to be reminded of just what the rule was, and that's what they did during the coin flip. They explained the new rule, and it's the first time it's been enacted in a playoff game. It's different than the regular season rule. So that doesn't concern me. Players don't know rules. They just don't know enough of them, to be honest with you."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Baldinger below.

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