Ask the Official: November 30, 2013

Can I assume that the TV announcers were in correct in stating that the Pats deferred their choice in overtime and instead chose to defend the goal that was against the wind? Otherwise the Broncos could have chosen to defend that goal, — Stuart G.

That is not what the announcers said.

When winning the toss, the winning team has the option of receiving or kicking the ball or defending a desired goal. The Patriots made the decision to defend the south goal (i.e., to take the wind at their backs) and the Broncos then were left with a decision to kick or receive choosing the latter. A team cannot defer its choice in overtime as there will be no further time period. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth accurately indicated what had occurred at the coin toss.      


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