Super Bowl 58 mic’d up segment shows Chiefs players celebrating 49ers’ overtime decision

One of the best parts of every Super Bowl, after the confetti has fallen and the MVP has declared a visit to Disney World is in their future, is when the NFL releases all of the footage from the big game. Including the key moments where we get to hear the mic’d up players and coaches themselves as sports history unfolds.

Sure, this year offered moments such as the touching interaction between Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift — it did get a little dusty when Kelce thanked her for flying halfway around the world, I will admit — but perhaps the most important sequence of the game came into new light when the footage was released.

Kyle Shanahan’s decision to receive in overtime.

Shanahan’s decision has been much debated, here and elsewhere. As we outlined earlier in the week, the San Francisco 49ers head coach made his decision to receive based on the numbers, and the thousands upon thousands of simulations performed when the rule change was announced. Starting overtime with the ball gave the 49ers a slight — slight — edge according to the numbers, and as Shanahan himself said following Super Bowl LVIII, going first gave you the first crack at the win should the game advance to sudden death.

There are just a few problems.

First, the advantage decreased if/when the team going second went for the two-point conversion, and as we now know thanks to great reporting from The Ringer the Kansas City Chiefs had planned to go for two and the win if necessary. Second, as we outlined earlier in the week going second changes you mindset as a play caller, as you are in four-down territory the moment your drive begins, if you are indeed trailing.

Third, well, is Patrick Mahomes. He changes the numbers somewhat too.

Now we can see in real time how both sidelines viewed the decision from Shanahan. The footage from the NFL backs up the notion that the Chiefs had been planning to — and indeed were hoping for — going second in overtime. It also backs up the idea that some of the San Francisco players, like Kyle Juszczyk, only learned of the new overtime rules when they were shown on the scoreboard:

Perhaps the biggest thing that sticks out is the confidence on the Kansas City sideline. “We wanted them to have the ball,” Kelce is heard saying while fist pumping. “They wanted it, they can have it.”

Of course, we know how this story ends. The 49ers were held to a field goal on the opening possession of overtime, and the Chiefs scored the game-winning touchdown on the very next drive.

Should this situation arise in a future playoff game, you can imagine the discussion captured by the microphones would be much different.

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