The Super Bowl on Sunday marked history with its first overtime game in 25 years. The Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious over the San Francisco 49ers with a final score of 25-22 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
This game was unique for many reasons, not just the overtime aspect. It was also the first Super Bowl to be played under new postseason overtime rules implemented by the NFL. Under these rules, both teams are guaranteed at least one possession in overtime, and if both teams score during their possessions and the score remains tied, the next score will determine the winner. If a team kicking off forces a safety on the initial possession, the game ends after just one possession.
The Chiefs won this game thanks to Patrick Mahomes’ late field goal that sent it into overtime. Mahomes connected with Mecole Hardman for a touchdown that sealed the victory for Kansas City. This win marked their second consecutive Super Bowl victory, which came about thanks to changes in postseason overtime rules that gave them an advantage during extra time.
These changes were made following criticism of previous rules that favored receiving teams too much. In particular, there was criticism following a divisional round playoff game between Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs earlier in the year when Buffalo did not receive a possession in overtime and lost despite having an opportunity to tie or win. Mahomes said he appreciated these changes and expressed uncertainty about any further modifications to the rules in future games.
Overall, this Super Bowl was unique for many reasons, but it is safe to say that its most significant feature was its status as only the second overtime game in NFL history.