NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said referee Clete Blakeman was correct to reflip the coin prior to overtime in Saturday's NFC Divisional Round matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers.
"I have not seen this before in any level of football, where the coin didn't actually flip," Blandino said on NFL Total Access. "Although the rulebook doesn't specifically state that it must rotate, I think common sense would dictate the coin has to flip to have a coin toss. I thought Clete did the best job he could with what he had."
The situation as a whole was one of the strangest in NFL playoff history. Blakeman decided to reflip the coin amid complaints by Packers players after it did not make a single rotation on his first attempt. He did not, however, allow Green Bay to change its call from tails—something that drew the ire of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Here's a look at the coin flip, per the NFL:
"He had it on heads, he was showing heads, so I called tails, and it didn't flip," Rodgers said, per Conor Orr of NFL.com. "He just tossed it up in the air and it did not turn over at all and it landed on the ground. So we obviously thought that was not right. He picked the coin up, flipped it to tails and then he flipped it without giving me a chance to make a recall there. So it was confusing."
Rodgers also made comments that made it sound like he might have changed his call if given a second opportunity.
"I think he was trying to avoid the embarrassment of what just happened. He flipped it quickly," he said.
The NFL released a statement saying it backed Blakeman after the game (via Kevin Draper of Deadspin). The fact Blandino further affirmed Blakeman's decision makes it look like he made the best of a bad situation. Either way, the Cardinals won both coin tosses and went on to drive down the field for a touchdown on their first possession.
Rodgers may think he has a legitimate beef, but the merit behind his argument is dwindling.
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