Tiki Barber furious over new ‘absolute nonsense’ NFL playoff OT rules

Super Bowl LVIII concluded in dramatic fashion with an overtime victory for the Kansas City Chiefs, securing their third Lombardi Trophy in just five years. As the 2023 season came to a thrilling end, Patrick Mahomes inched closer to Tom Brady’s astonishing record, while Brock Purdy acknowledged his shortcomings leading the 49ers.

However, diverging from the trend of praising Mahomes and criticizing Purdy, former New York Giants player Tiki Barber offers a distinct perspective on the Super Bowl’s revised overtime regulation.

NFL playoff OT rules infuriate Tiki Barber

Tiki Barber didn’t mince words when expressing his frustration with the current regulations. In a fiery statement on WFAN, Barber criticized the league’s decision, calling it “nonsense” and emphasizing the importance of the clock in determining the outcome of the game.

“The new NFL overtime rule in the playoffs is nonsense. It’s absolute nonsense. To make a clock mean nothing is nonsense. The clock has to end the game. I understand why they do it this way because you want to be fair. But it takes all urgency out of football.”

The former Giants player continued his critique, stating that the essence of football is competition against both opponents and external constraints like the clock. He also vehemently disliked the neutering of the clock in NFL playoff overtime, finding it illogical.

“I hate that. Football, in my mind, is competing against an opponent. But it’s also competing against these forces that constrain you. It’s the field, it’s the officials, and it’s the clock. And overtime in the NFL playoffs, they have neutered the clock, and it makes no sense to me.”

Notably, the only other Super Bowl overtime concluded on the first possession when Tom Brady sealed a memorable comeback for the Patriots in the 2016 season against the Falcons. Interestingly, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons in that historic game.

In the recent Super Bowl, reports from the NY Post indicated that the new playoff rules ensure both teams receive at least one possession in overtime. Nevertheless, Shanahan made a controversial decision to start on offense that ultimately let them dash their Super Bowl dream by dint of Patrick Mahomes last moments’ heroic run.

Did 49ers’ unawareness of overtime rules cost them Super Bowl?

While the Chiefs diligently discussed the overtime rules multiple times in their playoff journey and even had specific strategy meetings, some 49ers players admitted to being unaware of the new regulations altogether.

As they were unaware of the rule, 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk expressed his assumption that having the ball meant a touchdown would secure victory. 

“I assumed you just want the ball because you score a touchdown and win. I guess that’s not the case. I don’t really know the strategy.”

Defensive tackle Arik Armstead echoed a similar sentiment. His surprise was evident as he described the moment the rules were displayed on the scoreboard.

“I didn’t even know about the new playoff overtime rules. It was a surprise to me. I didn’t even know what was going on with it. They put it on the scoreboard and everyone was like, ‘Even if we score, they get a chance. ”

Contrastingly, the Chiefs demonstrated a proactive approach to understanding the playoff overtime rules. Linebacker Drue Transquill disclosed that they had dedicated time to an overtime rules presentation and strategy meeting every week of the playoffs.

What’s your take regarding the 49ers players’ claim of unawareness of the OT rules? Make sure to let us know in the comments section.

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