The New England Patriots struggled a bit in their game against the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon. While Tom Brady and his boys were able to tie the game in the fourth quarter, the coin toss may have lost them the game. Fans watched anxiously as the Patriots called “heads” before the ref flipped the coin. As soon as “heads” was called, everyone heard the ref say, “New England has elected to kick.”
And then the confusion set in.
Clete Blakeman called the coin toss. According to Deadspin, Blakeman was pretty quick to stop Matthew Slater from trying to correct his apparent mistake… but was it actually a mistake? Check out the transcript below.
Here is the transcript of the coin toss at MetLife. Seems like Slater just made a mistake. Game-changer. pic.twitter.com/ajuyE0u2Ml
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) December 27, 2015
The Patriots won the coin toss, so they should have received the ball first in overtime. However, New England didn’t want the ball, according to head coach Bill Belichick.
Not surprisingly, it was the very first question asked during the press conference following the game. Belichick — in typical fashion — told the media that the Patriots wanted the Jets to receive in overtime, meaning that was not a mistake. So what’s this about?
https://t.co/aqcs7ZAx3E — Randall. (@JRC_) December 27, 2015
Apparently, Matthew Slater thought that if he said the Patriots wanted to kick to the Jets, it was the Patriots who got to choose which way they wanted to kick. That’s where the confusion was. So, while fans might think that it was a mistake for the Patriots to give the ball to the Jets in overtime, it was actually their plan.
Matthew Slater says he checked with coaches multiple times that they definitely wanted to kick off.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 27, 2015
Some football experts are saying that Bill Belichick told the officials that if they “won” the coin toss, they were going to kick the ball to New York before the coin toss even went down. This would explain why Blakeman was quick to keep Matthew Slater from arguing about the call.
Tom Brady was part of the Patriots press conference after the game, and he was also asked about the coin toss. Brady was asked if he agreed with the decision to kick the ball to New York in overtime. The quarterback said that he trusts Belichick, but didn’t seem too thrilled with the outcome.
The now 12-3 Patriots are down quite a few guys due to various injuries. Although everyone is thrilled to have Rob Gronkowski back on the field, the team is missing some key guys. Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Patrick Chung, LeGarrette Blount, and Devin McCourty weren’t playing today. The team saw tackle Sebastian Vollmer carted off the field after the Patriots first drive of the game.
According to CBS Sports, Vollmer didn’t return to the game after suffering an apparent lower left leg injury.
Regardless of what happened today, the Patriots are on to Miami. New England will be traveling to southern Florida to take on the Dolphins next Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. EST. Tom Brady and the team have their eye on the Super Bowl and are hoping to bring another trophy back to Foxborough in 2016.
Do you think it was a mistake for the Patriots to kick to the Jets in overtime? Do you think the call ultimately cost them the game? Were you confused after Matthew Slater elected to kick the ball to New York?
[Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images Sport]