Coin Toss

Would you rather receive or defer when winning the coin toss?


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number1fin

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Our luck has been outstanding so far on the season.

We have won the coin toss in all three games.

We've chosen to defer all three times and have elected to receive the ball at the start of the 3rd quarter.

By doing so, we've given our offense the first opportunity to gain momentum in the 2nd half. I like this because as of recent, our offense has been doing a good job stealing momentum at the end of the 1st half by scoring late thus giving the team a boost before going into the locker room.

However consequently speaking, this approach puts our defense on the field first. Which on the surface sounds all well and good being that our defense is the rock of our team and is the most solid unit but, it also tends to tire them out some given our offensive inability to get off to fast starts.

The question I pose to you all is, which strategy is the best strategy?

 

Shouright

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It actually depends on a number of factors that can change from week to week, but since we're about to play the Saints, I chose "receive" because I would sure like to limit their opportunities to possess the ball early and get out to an early lead.
 

greasyObnoxious

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i think potentially having back-to-back possessions going into the half and coming out of it is the way to go.
 

roy_miami

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I think you should always defer, the crowd will always be less of a factor after halftime both at home for our opponent and on the road for us.
 

CalDolFan10x14

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Defer 'til the second half. The way we're going this season, we're doing a very good job of second half adjustments. Come out strong to start the game on defense and make a move on offense to start the second half.
 

tapsmiled

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We've scored before the end of the half in the last 2 games. If we wouldn't have turned it over to start the second half, we could have put 10 points on the board before Atlanta's offense saw the field again. Deferring the kickoff is always the best move IMO.

......unless you are playing a dome team with a great home-field advantage. I think a lengthy opening drive could help to quell the crowd's enthusiasm. Of course, the caveat there is that if we go 3 and out, the crowd surges.
 

Fins1971

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I would take the ball and try to get the lead early. You have to change it up to win this big game.

I would not say that the defer strategy has actually contributed to our wins.

In Cleveland we went 3 and out and punted to start the 3rd quarter.
In Indy a sack fumble led to a FG
Last week a sack fumble leads to TD

We are terrible starting the 3rd quarter with the ball on the initial drive.
 

Miamifinz

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This team should always defer. We're more likely to stop a team from scoring than marching down the field and putting up 7 our first drive. I wonder how differently our games would have turned out if we lost these coin tosses...we haven't had a lead at halftime all year and its been nice knowing we get the ball to start the 3rd.
 

Awsi Dooger

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There's a statistical edge to defer so far. I think it's something like 47% of teams receiving first win the game since the rule was changed to allow a choice. Of course, that is somewhat skewed since the better teams are also the smarter teams and more likely to defer, like Belichick who has deferred every time he's won the toss.

I would have taken the ball first last week against Atlanta. That team thrives early in the game and we figured to hand them the edge. Coming from behind is always uphill in the NFL. Merely because we got fortunate and pulled it out doesn't mean you want to be there. If we trail at halftime with regularity we'll lose more often than we win, regardless of who gets the ball to open the third quarter. You can't overcome the odds once the sample size is significant.

That's one of the reasons some of the bettors I know aren't particularly sold on the Dolphins, since they've been moderate to weak in the first half. Historically the upstart teams that continue to thrive throughout the season have been excellent in the first half, running up margins.
 

MadDog 88

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Normally I would defer but Shouright and Awsi hit the nail on the head. The Dome on MNF is not somewhere I want to fall behind early. The first half has not been a strength of the Dolphins and if the Saints get an early lead that could be trouble in that environment. If the Dolphins can score first it may impact the crowd from the start.
 

Fins1971

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This team should always defer. We're more likely to stop a team from scoring than marching down the field and putting up 7 our first drive. I wonder how differently our games would have turned out if we lost these coin tosses...we haven't had a lead at halftime all year and its been nice knowing we get the ball to start the 3rd.
But we haven't done anything with the ball in the initial 3rd quarter drive.

I would contest the strategy almost cost us the game vs Atlanta. They owned the 1st quarter because of the defer. They scored 2 of their 3 TD's on opening possessions of both halves.

Good thing we were at home last week, this week it is not the case
 

Kdawg954

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But we haven't done anything with the ball in the initial 3rd quarter drive.

I would contest the strategy almost cost us the game vs Atlanta. They owned the 1st quarter because of the defer. They scored 2 of their 3 TD's on opening possessions of both halves.

Good thing we were at home last week, this week it is not the case
You make a valid point and it's damn tricky letting an offense like the Saints come out first and attempt to get the upper hand from the start . . . . in theory, you may never catch them and that is the worry of deferring.

That said, on the road, I tend to agree that you'd almost be better off deffering . . . just because it will be "less hostile" starting your offense after halftime over starting them at the beginning of the game where that place will be unruly. Plus, through 3 games, the offense really has shined brightest in the 2nd half so you need as many possessions as you can get in that 2nd half.

It's a bit overrated tho, deferring or receiving, you still have to produce results either way on defense.
 
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