New England practically handed a win to the Jets in Sunday’s overtime victory 26-20 when team captain Matthew Slater opted for the Patriots to kick off to New York after winning the coin toss.
Ever since that head-scratching, which the Patriots defend and claim they planned, the decision not to take possession of the ball still has many folks wondering about the call.
Siding with those baffled by the confusion over the coin toss is Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who spoke with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels about their decision.
“After the game Josh McDaniels came up to me, my old ball coach in Denver, and I asked ‘What were you guys thinking?'” Marshall said, via CSN New England. “He explained to me the situation a little bit but I didn’t believe him.”
We agree it must be difficult for Marshall to believe a coach of Bill Belichick’s caliber would make the decision to kick off to a red-hot Jets offense. That’s why the call goes down as one of the most surprising moments of Week 16.
Marshall continued with his analysis.
“They’re so smart over there. Coach Belichick is so smart. It wasn’t serious what Josh told me. Their offense only scored one time or something all day. They wanted to play the field position game. Have us go three and out. Possibly punt and win field position, then go home. It was just bad timing for them.”
There perhaps could have been a sneaky strategy involved, like letting the Jets have this one so the Patriots wouldn’t have to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in a playoff game. As Marshall said, the Patriots don’t play stupid football and there very well may have been a hidden motive in the madness behind New England’s decision.
Nevertheless, the Patriots still have the division and a bye week clinched, and the Jets need only to win against Buffalo next week to advance to the playoffs.