Heads, the Kansas City Chiefs win. Tails, the Kansas City Chiefs win. That’s how it’s been going this season, as the team has put together one of the quirkier streaks in the NFL.
“It’s kind of running joke,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes told reporters (via the Kansas City Star). “I don’t think there’s any pressure. Whatever happens, happens. At the same time, everybody knows the coin toss thing is going.”
Ah, “the coin toss thing.” Through nine games in the regular season and the final three of the preseason, the team is on an incredible roll: 12-for-12 in the pregame coin toss.
“It’s one of the most nervous points of the whole game for me right now,” Mahomes joked.
The Star sought records on coin flips and came up with only a couple of, naturally, odd nuggets. The Chicago Bears won 14 straight flips in 2016-17 and the Detroit Lions had a 14-game streak in 2004-05. In 2013, the Carolina Panthers won eight straight after losing 13 in a row at the start of the 2012 season.
As for the Chiefs’ streak, Phil Deming, a statistics professor at the University of Missouri, did the math for the Star and calculated that there was a 0.0244 percent chance of the team winning 12 flips in a row. Even Coach Andy Reid admitted that the feat is “ridiculous.”
At this point, you have to wonder if there’s a strategy or some sort of juju going on, but the Chiefs swear there is not. The team, like most in the NFL, chooses game captains each week from the offense, defense and special teams. Those guys, along with the game officials and the opponent’s captains, participate in the midfield toss. Last week, according to the Star, Cam Erving, Reggie Ragland and Eric Murray called tails. The week before, Sammy Watkins, Kendall Fuller and James Winchester called heads.
You might scoff at the significance of this, but winning the toss means a team gets to choose whether to kick off at the start of the game or at the beginning of the second half. In all nine regular season games, the Chiefs have chosen to defer. And on the nine game-opening possessions, the Chiefs defense has forced seven punts, forced a turnover on downs, and allowed just one field goal. Kansas City, by the way, is 8-1.
No other team in the NFL has won the coin toss more than six times this year; the Patriots have only won it twice, according to Pro Football Reference. Teams that win the toss are 74-58-2 this season, according to the site.
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