(The NFC has won the coin flip at 14 straight Super Bowls. The chances of that happening are .006 percent. The last AFC team to win the coin flip was the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.)
It’s important to note that in 2008, the NFL adopted the college-style rule of giving the coin toss winner the option to defer the ball to the second half. Before that, teams that won the toss chose to receive more than 95 percent of the time.
Including playoff games, the New England Patriots have chosen to defer the last 29 times that they have won the opening coin toss. The last (and only) time New England chose to receive the opening kick since the rule change was Week 1 in 2008 against the Kansas City Chiefs -- the game Tom Brady tore up his knee and missed the rest of the season. (Brady’s injury occurred on the Patriots’ second possession, not their first.)
So does New England head coach Bill Belichick now think choosing to receive the opening kickoff is bad? Belichick told the Boston Globe that he and his staff discuss the option before every game. "If we win the toss, if we lose the toss, what the wind is going to be, whatever the conditions are," he said. "We talk about it before every game."
However, since Brady’s injury, the Patriots have won tosses with game-time temperatures as high as 90 (the very next game against the New York Jets) and as low as 20 (Jan. 10, 2010 AFC Wild Card game against the Baltimore Ravens), However, since Brady’s injury, the Patriots have won tosses with game-time temperatures as high as 90 (the very next game against the New York Jets) and as low as 20 (Jan. 10, 2010 AFC Wild Card game against the Baltimore Ravens), so it's doubtful that's a factor as he implies.
In an even more interesting turn, from Week 1 of 2008 to Week 13 of 2011 the New York Giants chose to receive on every opening coin toss they won. That’s 30 straight regular-season and playoff games in which they chose to receive. Then, for some reason in Week 17 this season against the Dallas Cowboys -- with their season on the line -- the Giants chose to defer.
Against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Wild Card, the Giants went back to their old ways and chose to receive, only to defer again in the NFC Championship game. (They did not win coin toss in the divisional round at Green Bay.) So Tom Coughlin’s team went 30 straight coin tosses choosing to receive, followed by deferring two of its last three games.
The Giants will call the opening toss, and Zak DeOssie will call tails, according to reports. If it lands heads, then you know what the Patriots will do. If the Giants win the toss, then who knows?