Tuesday, December 7

Why Geno Smith is the Seahawks’ ace overtime coin toss specialist



The job description for a backup quarterback at the NFL level is usually pretty simple. You enter the game if the starter is injured or if your team is involved in a blowout. Other than that, it is a large amount of clipboard that holds and serves as a soundboard for the beginner.

But Geno Smith has an additional duty that is rare for backups. He serves as the Seahawks’ coin toss specialist in overtime games.

Coach Pete Carroll used to send former Seahawks backup Tarvaris Jackson onto the field to toss coins in overtime. They have kept up that tradition with Smith, and he has proven to be good in that role. So that’s why Smith has taken the field for each of the four overtime games the team has played since signing in 2019.

“He is all the time” Carroll said of Smith’s ability to request coin releases in November 2019. “[The Seahawks fans] they were chanting his name when he walked by. Geno! Geno! It was amazing “.

How good is Smith at a coin toss? What is your strategy? Smith’s methods may not be exactly mathematically sound, but the results cannot be disputed.

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Geno Smith Coin Toss Results

Smith has participated in overtime coin tosses four times for the Seahawks since joining the team in 2019. Seattle has won three of those four coin tosses.

However, Smith’s numbers are actually better than that. His only loss was in Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season against the Titans. Tennessee paid for the drawing in that case, so Smith did not pay and lost the drawing.

Here’s a breakdown of Smith’s coin toss performance since 2019.

YearAdversarySmith called the launch?Coin flip resultGame result
2019BuccaneersYesThe Seahawks winSeattle wins 40-34
201949ersYesThe Seahawks winSeattle wins 27-24
2020CardinalsYesThe Seahawks winArizona wins 37-34
2021TitansNoTitans winTennessee wins 36-30

Considering that winning a coin flip is a 50-50 proposition, winning three of four tosses is a great return. And it’s even more impressive considering that he wasn’t the one who decided the only coin flip he lost.

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Geno Smith’s Coin Toss Strategy

Smith’s strategy for winning the sweepstakes appears to be simple. Whatever the outcome of the opening coin flip, you will choose the opposite to occur in overtime.

NFL Network’s Jim Trotter first revealed this strategy after discussing with Smith the quarterback’s back-to-back victories against the Buccaneers and 49ers in 2019.

“I asked him, ‘Well, why did you call the bosses?'” Trotter said on NFL Network. “[Smith] He said, ‘Because Russell Wilson called queues to start the game.’ He said that mathematical probabilities always favored you to go in the opposite direction. He told me to do the math. “

Smith’s logic here is actually somewhat flawed. Unchanged fair coin tosses have a fixed probability, so they will always have a 50-50 chance of getting heads or tails. The above results do not affect the probability of advancing, that is, landing heads the first time does not mean that the coin is more likely to land tails the second time; There is the same possibility that it will come up heads or tails each time.

The strategy is definitely not mathematically sound, but so far, Smith has won at a 75 percent rate with the Seahawks. Regression to the mean dictates that it should balance out, but it’s still an impressive mark for a coin toss specialist.

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Controversy over the Geno Smith coin toss

The success of the Smith coin toss is not without controversy. His second overtime coin toss victory, which came against the 49ers in 2019, was the subject of much debate on the internet.

Did Geno Smith say heads or tails? Originally, the clips that were posted on Twitter looked like it had said tails, as you can see below.

However, Smith did, in fact, say heads, as he explained after the game. The umpire heard him say heads and Richard Sherman, the opposing representative for the coin toss, did not appear to have a problem with what happened. If Smith had said tails and been awarded a heads up win, Sherman probably would have been furious.

The 49ers still had two possessions during which they had a chance to end the game. They ended up losing a potential field goal to win the game and taking off with less than two minutes remaining in the overtime period. The Seahawks moved into field goal position to win when time expired in overtime.

Altogether, this moment was much ado about nothing, but it reminded the world that Geno Smith can still make an impact on a soccer field. It is largely limited to the toss of a coin.

MORE: Why Geno Smith’s Coin Toss Controversy Was Overblown?




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