Team that wins OT coin toss can choose which end zone to defend

Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons - September 12, 2005
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Before the NFL changed the overtime rule to guarantee a possession for each team in the postseason, we pointed out that the weather and the wind could become a major factor in whether the team that wins the coin toss chooses to kick or to receive.

Peter King adds more specific details to this potential approach in his new Football Morning in America column.

King has confirmed with the league that the winner of the coin toss in overtime can choose to receive the ball, to kick, or to defend one specific goal. That’s how a team would choose to have the wind at its back.

This means that the other team could then choose to kick, with the team that wins the toss getting the wind — but also getting the ball. While that’s unlikely, it’s a potential permutation that can’t be ignored.

As Patriots coach Bill Belichick and New England special-teams specialist Matthew Slater learned the hard way in 2015, it’s also important for the captains who make the trek to midfield to understand how to communicate the selection. If you choose to kick, the other team gets to choose which goal to defend. (That’s what the Patriots did against the Jets, giving New York both the ball and the choice of goal to defend. The Jets won the game.) To take the wind, you have to choose the goal to defend, and then the other team then will choose whether or not to take the ball.

However it plays out, the new approach to postseason overtime means it will definitely play out far differently than it previously did, where the team that wins the toss chooses to receive.

3 responses to “Team that wins OT coin toss can choose which end zone to defend

  1. Tom Brady wouldn’t make this much for Slater being the same for special teams.

  2. What happens if the kicking team recovers an onside kick? Does it count as a possession for the would-be receiving team? Say the team that recovered the kick goes on to score a TD?

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