The Redskins have won the pre-game coin flip four times this season, and each time Coach Mike Shanahan has elected to defer until the second half.
On Monday, Shanahan explained why.
“I had always been the other way,” Shanahan said. “I’ve always taken the ball in the past. This year, I’ve [deferred] because I saw a percentage that I hadn’t seen before: People that defer win well over 60-percent. I said, ‘Hey, that’s an interesting stat. Why not going with the percentages?’”
The Redskins are 2-2 when they defer, losing to the Bengals and Falcons and beating the Buccaneers and Vikings. The Redskins have lost the flip twice and split those games, losing to the Rams and beating the Saints.
Shanahan said he also likes the momentum generated by getting the ball to start the second half. In the four times the Redskins have deferred, they’ve scored on their first drive of the second half twice, including Sunday’s 38-26 victory over the Vikings.
“I kind of like it [because] coming out of halftime [we] have a chance to get the ball first,” Shanahan said. “It [also] kind of fires up the team at halftime, knowing we have the ball and a chance to go the distance.”
“It’s nothing earth shattering but that’s the way we went,” he said. “I like starting off the second half with the ball.”