Jo Craven McGinty had another great column in The Wall Street Journal on the coin toss that the NFL does after the end of tied games. It was in response to the Patriots winning the coin toss going into overtime. After winning the toss, they just marched down the field against the Chiefs and won the AFC Championship, and then won the Super Bowl two weeks later.
Like others that watched that game, I think if the Chiefs won that coin toss then they would’ve marched down the field and won too. It seems crazy that the randomness of a coin toss decides games.
It used to be that the coin toss winner would get the ball and if they scored first, they would win the game. The NFL changed the rules so that now if coin toss winner scores a touchdown they win the game. Otherwise, if they score a field goal, or don’t score, the other team gets the ball.
That change has brought down the percentage of teams winning under the new rules from 53.5% to 50.5%. However, the team that loses the coin toss only wins 43.8% of the time under the new rules. That’s nuts.
Teams tie after slogging through 60 minutes of regulation. They get to over time and are pumped up for OT. Then they lose the coin toss and their chances of winning in overtime are greatly reduced. I know that no system is perfect, but it should be better. It was a very interesting article. Hopefully, the NFL will read it.
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