Wednesday, December 27, 2006

HEADS OR TAILS? THE VALUE OF LOSING THE COIN TOSS!

While the Ravens are growing into a more balanced team, they remain a team that relies on its defense for most of its success. And that is why I often want the Ravens to lose the coin toss, particularly at home. The thought here is to get the crowd into the game and we do that at The Vault when the Ravens are on defense.

Three and out and we’re off to the races.

When folks are just returning to their seats after the half, the stadium isn’t as loud and therefore more conducive to playing offense.

Since Kyle Boller has been with the Ravens, they are 25-6 at home (.806). When the Ravens win the coin toss at home and receive they are 11-4 (.733). When they lose the toss and defend, they are 14-2 (.875). The average margin of victory when winning the toss at home is 12.3 points. When losing the toss that figure climbs to 16.4 points (+33%).

Also the average margin of a loss is more favorable when the Ravens lose the coin toss at home (4 points) v. that when they win the toss (8.5 points).

So why not elect to play defense whenever they win the coin toss?

If it were only that simple.

Here’s how the NFL coin toss rule reads:

1. The toss of coin will take place within three minutes of kickoff in center of field. The toss will be called by the visiting captain before the coin is flipped. The winner may choose one of two privileges and the loser gets the other:
(a) Receive or kick
(b) Goal his team will defend

2. Immediately prior to the start of the second half, the captains of both teams must inform the officials of their respective choices. The loser of the original coin toss gets first choice.

So if the Ravens won the toss and elected to defend, their opponent could choose to receive when it’s there choice to start the second half. That’s the equivalent of a turnover.

So the moral of the story is to hope when the visiting team makes their coin toss call, they win every time so that the Ravens defense can get things started.

Oh and in case you are wondering the Ravens have lost the coin toss 5 of 8 times on the road this year on their way to a 6-2 road mark. Those 6 wins equal the total number of road wins during Kyle Boller’s entire Ravens career as the No. 1 QB.

A little bad luck on the coin toss call and a lot of poise go a long way…

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