Was it a mistake to take the ball to start OT?

Was it a mistake to take the ball to start OT?

  • SF did the right thing: Give me the ball, let my defense rest.

  • SF made a mistake: It's better to know what you need, use all four downs if necessary.


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pseudonym

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Why didn't San Fran elect to kick to start OT?

If Mahomes scores on the opening drive of OT, San Fran gets to use all four downs on their drive. Instead, San Fran kicked a field goal and set KC up for the walk-off.

I know your defense was just on the field and needed the break, but they gave up the touchdown after a long rest anyway.
 

8dog

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Feb 23, 2008
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Why didn't San Fran elect to kick to start OT?

If Mahomes scores on the opening drive of OT, San Fran gets to use all four downs on their drive. Instead, San Fran kicked a field goal and set KC up for the walk-off.

I know your defense was just on the field and needed the break, but they gave up the touchdown after a long rest anyway.
Under the new rules I have no idea why you wouldn’t kick.
 

Perd Hapley

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Sep 30, 2022
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KC was going to score anyway. Mahomes always scores in those situations. Only chance the 49ers had was to take the ball second, score a touchdown and then go for two to win it.
Does KC go for it on 4th and a foot in their own territory if they had ball first? Lots to consider in that moment.

It may have been a small mishap to not kick it in OT, but I’ll see that and raise you the Chiefs gross clock mismanagement at the end of regulation. Pretty inexcusable to get the ball with nearly 2 minutes left, and have to kick a FG from inside the 10 with 6 seconds left while you’re still holding a timeout in your pocket. They cost themselves easily 3 or 4 more plays had they simply burned the TO after Mahomes got flushed from the pocket for the short gain up the middle. And even after that fact, with the TO still in hand they could have lined up and tried SOMETHING with 0:06 left before resorting to the FG. Could be that you just call some single-read to Kelce or Rice….and if there’s anything at all that you don’t like the alignment you then just burn the TO and take the FG. Can’t take it with you to OT.

Good game where both teams players and coaches made some errors here and there, but in the end the best team on the field and probably the best player ever won the ‘ship due to making a few more plays.
 
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DoggieDaddy13

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You want to score a TD to win it. If you score a TD first, the other team does not get the ball --- or did they change the rules again under the new Swift/Kelce regime?
 

pseudonym

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Oh, that is a dumb poll. they lost that means whatever they decided to do is going to be frowned upon.
Of course the decision can be analyzed regardless of the result. You can make the wrong choice and win just like you can make the right choice and lose. Had SF won, I still would say electing to receive to open OT was a mistake.

It’s not like second guessing a play call. In that case you are right if it works and wrong if it doesn’t.
 

Perd Hapley

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You want to score a TD to win it. If you score a TD first, the other team does not get the ball --- or did they change the rules again under the new Swift/Kelce regime?
They changed the rules well before the regime. In 2021 I believe. Both teams are guaranteed a possession now, no matter what. You cannot win the game any earlier than the 2nd overall possession of OT.
 

pseudonym

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You want to score a TD to win it. If you score a TD first, the other team does not get the ball --- or did they change the rules again under the new Swift/Kelce regime?
This rule was changed. That is why many believe electing to kick is the correct choice.

Perhaps the SF coach didn’t know the rule change…
 
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greenbean.sixpack

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You want to score a TD to win it. If you score a TD first, the other team does not get the ball --- or did they change the rules again under the new Swift/Kelce regime?
That's no longer the rule. Both teams get a possession.

Getting the ball second is the right move, just like in college/HS OT.
 
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Perd Hapley

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This is exactly the advantage SF handed to KC when they elected to receive.
Agreed, but Flotown’s words were “KC is scoring anyway….SF’s only chance was to take the ball 2nd and also score and go for 2”. That’s the part I was responding to.

I don’t think you can say that they were automatically scoring even if they had the ball first. They were what, on their own 35 on that play? You essentially have about a 95% chance of losing the game if you don’t pick up a 1st down there, and 0% chance of winning it then and there if you do. That would have very likely been a punt if they had the first possession.
 
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FlotownDawg

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Agreed, but Flotown’s words were “KC is scoring anyway….SF’s only chance was to take the ball 2nd and also score and go for 2”. That’s the part I was responding to.

I don’t think you can say that they were automatically scoring even if they had the ball first. They were what, on their own 35 on that play? You essentially have about a 95% chance of losing the game if you don’t pick up a 1st down there, and 0% chance of winning it then and there if you do. That would have very likely been a punt if they had the first possession.
In the days of analytics, coaches are going to go for it almost every time on fourth and a foot unless the ball is inside their own 30. I think Reid would’ve gone for it regardless.
 

Perd Hapley

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The wild card here is that the third possession becomes sudden death. Taking the ball first gives you first possession of sudden death
That reasoning is a bit faulty. The 3rd possession only becomes sudden death if its still tied after the first 2 possessions. The real first “sudden death” possession is the 2nd possession. The only way it isn’t sudden death in some shape or form is if the team with the 1st possession scores a TD, and also decides to go for 2 even though they don’t even have to. That’s the only possible scenario where the team with the 2nd possession couldn’t win the game outright without a 3rd possession being needed.

Of course, nobody in their right mind would ever do this, because you set yourself up to lose on the extra point of the 2nd possession if that team scores a TD. So therefore, the 2nd possession is the real “first sudden death possession”, which again seems to support kicking vs receiving at the beginning of OT.
 

Bulldog from Birth

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My guess is that the analytics would say to go on offense first like the 49ers did. I would think getting the ball 3rd outweighs the advantage of knowing what you need on the 2nd possession. But I bet it’s close. That’s honestly what’s so great about the new overtime rule…..it really negates the advantage of the coin toss because it’s not entirely obvious what the right choice is.
 

pseudonym

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That is a valid justification, but I still think I would elect to kick.

If you possess the ball second, you can avoid a third possession by being aggressive and not playing for the tie: If KC gets a FG, go for it instead of kicking to tie OR if KC gets seven, go for two. And you do all that with an extra down if needed.

You’re up against Mahomes. Being aggressive is probably the right choice anyway.
 

DesotoCountyDawg

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If not for Chris Jones blowing up that third down near the goal line SF is scoring a TD on their first drive. The plan was working but Jones made a great play and blew it up.
 
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Bulldog from Birth

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That is a valid justification, but I still think I would elect to kick.

If you possess the ball second, you can avoid a third possession by being aggressive and not playing for the tie: If KC gets a FG, go for it instead of kicking to tie OR if KC gets seven, go for two. And you do all that with an extra down if needed.

You’re up against Mahomes. Being aggressive is probably the right choice anyway.

What would you rather be faced with? A single do or die 2 point conversion play from the 3 to win the Super Bowl? Or a single do or die drive, without worrying about the clock, where all you need is a field goal indoors? The answer isn’t all that obvious to me.
 

DesotoCountyDawg

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That is a valid justification, but I still think I would elect to kick.

If you possess the ball second, you can avoid a third possession by being aggressive and not playing for the tie: If KC gets a FG, go for it instead of kicking to tie OR if KC gets seven, go for two. And you do all that with an extra down if needed.

You’re up against Mahomes. Being aggressive is probably the right choice anyway.
It’s damned if you do damned if you don’t. There’s pros and cons to each. It’s 50/50 either way to me.
 

Bulldog from Birth

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It’s damned if you do damned if you don’t. There’s pros and cons to each. It’s 50/50 either way to me.
They’ve done a great job structuring playoff overtime. Old NFL rules - you were dumb to kick off. Current college rules - you are dumb to not choose defense first. These rules….you can argue it either way. It’s a very fair system, and there are pros and cons for either position, and I bet there isn’t a strongly advantageous position for either team. I bet the analytics are close to 50/50.
 

pseudonym

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What would you rather be faced with? A single do or die 2 point conversion play from the 3 to win the Super Bowl? Or a single do or die drive, without worrying about the clock, where all you need is a field goal indoors? The answer isn’t all that obvious to me.
I’d rather have the advantage of going second and go for two IF it comes to that.

I think if you play to get the ball third, you increase your odds of losing before it gets to a third possession.
 

Bulldog from Birth

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I’d rather have the advantage of going second and go for two IF it comes to that.

I think if you play to get the ball third, you increase your odds of losing before it gets to a third possession.
I think with the rules as they are, I’d rather be the one to lose the coin toss, so I didn’t have to be second guessed on the decision.
 
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GloryDawg

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Both teams get a chance to go on Offense unless your defense scores. Go on offense first. Both defenses were tired. Gives your defense an opportunity to rest and your offense a better chance to score because the other defense is tired.
 

leeinator

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I wish Dak had the dump off plays Maholmes has. Patrick always seems to have a unique safety valve to flip or toss the ball to and pick up substantial yards vs taking a sack or throwing the ball away thus wasting a down. I know Dak has some of those available, but Maholmes uses them all the time to get himself out of jams. McCarthy better start benchmarking his offense with KC's because I don't think Dak is that far behind Maholmes or Lamar Jackson for that matter.
 

Hot Rock

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Under the new rules I have no idea why you wouldn’t kick.
Trying to get the defense a break and not extend the KC’s defense even more rest. Both defenses were gassed but 49ers needed the break worse at that point.

The 49ers QB was not as good ad KC and even when Chris Jones & Co didn’t get the sack, they kept constant pressure going. I saw several throws altered or tipped to wide open WRs that feel to the ground.
 

Hot Rock

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Is it situational when every college coach elects to play defense first in OT in every OT game ever? It seems to be consensus that there is a correct choice.
Yes, colleges don’t defend the length of the field, it’s a different situation and more has to be considered. All things equal, you kick it and defend but they aren’t.
They felt their best chance was to stop KC with a tested defense and the offense did their part to get the FG but Andy Reid, Mahomes & co we’re just better.
 

POTUS

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You can argue this either way, but the way those kickers were hitting 50+ yarders I can see why Shanahan didn’t want to give KC that 3rd possession if it came to that.
 

Bulldog Bruce

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The one place where I thought there was a mistake made was SF final drive in the game. They ran the ball for 5 on the first down and then tried a pass on second down. That should have been a running play. Because that didn't work, they had to pass on third down again. It would have forced KC to use up it's timeouts and if they made the first down with 2 runs, they kick a game winner. Worst case KC has no timeouts in their final drive.

Their OT drive was more like the 4th quarter drive should have been.
 
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Dawgg

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I hated the old sudden death NFL OT rules. It was basically whoever wins the coin toss just tried to get into Field Goal range and most of the time that’s all it took.
 
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