The Dirty Dozen: Best Takes on the Coin Toss Loss

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(Photoshop via Bleacher Report on Twitter)

Some hot takes on the worst call since the infamous not-so-fake punt by the Colts in Indy.

(New York Daily News back page)
(New York Daily News back page)

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“It turns out that Bill Belichick is not the Mona Lisa Vito of overtime coin toss logic, either.

“The greatest football coach of this generation suffered an epic brain freeze Sunday with a decision that will go in the annals of stupidity. Sometimes even the smartest guy in the room outsmarts himself…

“No Jets player would cop to it, but there were surely a few who covered their faces and giggled at this ridiculous piece of thinking. Slater didn’t realize that the Jets had the choice of which direction to field the kick, which fueled speculation that perhaps he had erred in telling officials that the Patriots wanted to kick off rather than give the ball to Tom F—in’ Brady.” — Manish Mehta, New York Daily News

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“After the game Josh McDaniels came up to me, my old ball coach in Denver, and I asked ‘What were you guys thinking?’ ” [Jets wideout Brandon] Marshall joked. “He explained to me the situation a little bit but I didn’t believe him.” — via Phil Perry, CSNNE.com

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“I think I have no issue with the Patriots kicking to start overtime against the Jets. A few points: Belichick did it against Denver in New England in 2013 and won the game; Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer did it in Week 9 this year against the Rams and won the game. Clearly Belichick trusted his defense to stop the Jets from scoring a touchdown more than he trusted his offense and the embattled Tom Brady to drive 80 yards for a touchdown. Keep in mind: you don’t want to kick a field goal to start overtime because the opponent has a shot on the next series to win with a touchdown or continue the game with another field goal. At the start of overtime, the team that wins the toss can either kick off, receive or choose which goal to defend. And when Matthew Slater chose for the Pats to kick off—even though he was bemused and confused by the ref not allowing him to choose which goal to defend—of course he should have chosen which goal to defend, because the Jets would have taken the ball to start the extra period. But in the end, it didn’t matter. None of the plays the Jets used to drive the length of the field for the winning touchdown in overtime was wind-aided or wind-affected.” — Peter King in The MMQB

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“It’s conceivably a defensible decision—field position matters, plus, even if the Jets had been able to notch a field goal, there’s something nice about knowing how much you’ve got to score and being able to use all four downs to do it—but the risk was an intimidating one. Losing an overtime game without ever putting the ball in Tom Brady’s hands reminds me of all the baseball managers who hold out their closer for a save situation, and end up losing without ever putting their best reliever on the mound. Belichick’s earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being unorthodox, but sometimes the conventional wisdom is conventional for a reason.” — Barry Petchesky on Deadspin

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“I asked him three or four times just to make sure I’m not the guy that goes up there [and decides] ‘We want to kick off.’ So I double checked three or four times. I think he was looking at me like, ‘Are you concussed?’ because I kept asking him.

“You never question coach’s decision-making. He’s the best in the business and we trust him fully.” — Matthew Slater postgame explanation via The Boston Herald

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“There is no way Brady was fine with that decision. He can say he was, but deep down that has to be an insult to arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time. Your coach won’t even let you get the ball first?

“Come on, Bill. You are better than that. You are an all-time great in your own right.

“But like Brady with an interception on a bad throw in overtime, your brain froze up in a key situation — again.

“The bastardization of situational coaching lives on.” — Pete Prisco. CBS Sports

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“Our latest win probability model estimates the recipient of the opening kickoff in overtime will win about 53.8 percent of the time, and setting aside ties, the kicking team will win about 46.2 percent of the time. Deliberately choosing to kick off without any overriding consideration would cost a team a 7.6 percent chance of winning.” — Numbers Don’t Back Up Patriots OT Strategy, ESPN.com

New York Post back page
New York Post back page

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“That’s why when I was asked after the game if there was any confusion on the play, I don’t think there was any confusion. [Referee] Clete [Blakeman] came over to me after the toss and said, ‘You got what you wanted here, right?’ And I said, ‘Exactly.’ Seems like a much ado about nothing to me. I don’t understand what the issue is. What are we talking about here? What should have happened that didn’t or whatever? I don’t know.” — Bill Belichick on Monday’s conference call via NESN.com

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“No, I’m not offended at all.” — Tom Brady putting his best spin on the situation on Dennis & Callahan with Minehane

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