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Coin Toss Strategy


Heavy Kevi
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So as I turn the game on today I notice Buffalo setting up to receive, and I think to myself "man, are we ever gonna win a coin toss this year". Then, to my chagrin, I hear the announcer say Bills won the toss and elected to receive, and Charles Davis adds that McD has so much confidence in his offense.

 

WHAT?!

 

I have long been in the school of thought you ALWAYS defer when given the chance, getting the opportunity to start the 3rd with the ball and even potentially double-dip if you score before half. Moreover, it's an advantage that takes place later in the game, but when you elect to receive, if you don't score on first possession, the advantage is immediately revoked. And even if you do score on the first possession, if the other team scores on their first possession, advantage neutralized. To me there is so little potential benefit by receiving, whereas deferring has a higher potential for advantage, and more importantly it's closer to the end of the game where possessions are at a premium.

 

Can anybody make a compelling argument for actually electing to receive?

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6 minutes ago, Ya Digg? said:

You’ve been on this board for years, you know that there are no new threads started during a game 

 

That's not true. You don't start threads that should be comments for the GameDay thread... But topics that are not just reactionary, and that contribute to the board are ok.

 

But you get the hall monitor badge for the day.

 

--

 

The weather argument is a decent point, but I still don't think it makes sense to receive. I can even understand the comments like "I don't have a problem with it", but would anybody actually choose this if they were HC?

 

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From the time you could choose to defer to 2018, the win rate if you win the toss and defer was 51.8%.  And that is with the Patriots choosing that strategy 95% of the time during the Brady era likely skewing the win rate.  What that means is choosing to defer or receive the ball only matters on message boards.  Other than providing a subject to argue about, it is a meaningless decision.  

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1 hour ago, Heavy Kevi said:

So as I turn the game on today I notice Buffalo setting up to receive, and I think to myself "man, are we ever gonna win a coin toss this year". Then, to my chagrin, I hear the announcer say Bills won the toss and elected to receive, and Charles Davis adds that McD has so much confidence in his offense.

 

WHAT?!

 

I have long been in the school of thought you ALWAYS defer when given the chance, getting the opportunity to start the 3rd with the ball and even potentially double-dip if you score before half. Moreover, it's an advantage that takes place later in the game, but when you elect to receive, if you don't score on first possession, the advantage is immediately revoked. And even if you do score on the first possession, if the other team scores on their first possession, advantage neutralized. To me there is so little potential benefit by receiving, whereas deferring has a higher potential for advantage, and more importantly it's closer to the end of the game where possessions are at a premium.

 

Can anybody make a compelling argument for actually electing to receive?

The weather forecast implied early second half it be raining so they thought let’s get it first and score

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Doesn't matter at this point, team was out of sync early, but got the job done.

 

I was in Miami last week during the apex of Ian.  Sloppy and gross.  Rain, wind, that stuff.  I'm kinda sick still (not COVID), but what's coming out of my nose is this tan gunk.  It's probably sand that I ingested while going between work events; it's grainy.

 

Given last week, I understand the wisdom of trying to score early while keeping the second half in check, hopefully.  The game was a mirror image of what I thought it would be, but hey, it's a W.

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I’m of the belief to defer 100% of the time when winning the toss. I don’t care how many times we’ve scored in a row on the 1st drive. I think that was one of the only times Sean has ever taken the ball and I hope that’s not a trend. I want the ball after half.

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30 minutes ago, BillsSbSoon said:

I’m of the belief to defer 100% of the time when winning the toss. I don’t care how many times we’ve scored in a row on the 1st drive. I think that was one of the only times Sean has ever taken the ball and I hope that’s not a trend. I want the ball after half.

 

Same here. Even with the weather, I just don't agree with coach on this one. Sure, we have a great offense, but we also have a great defense, and it seems like you trust the defense to hold on one possession, and then it's all advantage from there on.

 

28 minutes ago, 1ManRaid said:

This is probably the least consequential part of a football game you could get upset about.

 

I don't think the coin toss decision is the "least consequential" part of a game at all. Can be a real advantage if you can capitalize in certain moments.

 

Also I'm not upset about it. I have seen McD's reasoning so I know why he did it, but I'd still defer no matter how bad the weather was.

33 minutes ago, GETTOTHE50 said:

i think you should always receive first for two reasons:

 

1. be the first to get points on the board

2. get offense in a rhythm

 

Interesting you would do this every time regardless of situation. That's a response I did not expect.

 

Fair points but obviously I don't agree. I think getting into rhythm in the first (although good overall) can lead to complacency if you take a lead early. I'd rather peak in the 3rd and 4th most days. Of course if you can blow them out and take Josh out in the 3rd quarter that would be preferable to all other outcomes. Receiving probably does improve the chances of that, even if it's incremental.

 

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10 minutes ago, Heavy Kevi said:

I don't think the coin toss decision is the "least consequential" part of a game at all. Can be a real advantage if you can capitalize in certain moments.

 

Also I'm not upset about it. I have seen McD's reasoning so I know why he did it, but I'd still defer no matter how bad the weather was.

 

That's a lot of words to say nothing at all.  Literally anything done or not done in a game "can be a real advantage if you can capitalize at certain moments".  I bet you'd object to punting on 4th and 20 just to have something to complain about because they could "capitalize on that moment".

 

But please do tell me how electing to have the ball in better weather is a stupid decision worth complaining about, and which parts of the game are less important than an opening coin toss.

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