The coin flip was a big deal in Kansas City Sunday, mostly because the Chiefs had yet to lose a coin flip all season in nine previous games. Once the Cardinals broke that streak -- tails never fails, amirite? -- the coin flip became a big deal (to some) for an entirely different reason. Wilks chose to defer to the second half. Less than a minute into the game, the Chiefs had a touchdown. This drove some crazy, because the Chiefs have arguably the best offense in the NFL.
Personally, I didn't think twice. It's rare when a team doesn't defer these days (and in fact, heading into Week 10, the team winning the coin toss had deferred 94.8 percent of the time.) The Chiefs themselves are one of those teams -- despite their awesome offense and their up-and-down defense, Andy Reid went 9-0 on flips and deferred to second half every time.
It didn't help that the Cardinals melted down on that first possession, blowing two coverages and allowing 37- and 38-yard passes for a less-than-a-minute-into-the-game touchdown. But that's what the Chiefs do the first time they have the ball, whether the other team has had it or not. Only once this season have the Chiefs not scored a TD the first time they have had the ball.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals drove down and scored a touchdown the first time they had the ball -- only the second time the Chiefs have allowed an opening drive score this season and the first time someone got in the end zone.
"My approach and my philosophy is always to try to defer," Wilks said on the "Bickley and Marotta" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station. "It's all about trying to get two-for-one. What I mean by that is, you're trying to go and get a stop -- and we talked about trying to steal possessions -- which didn't happen in hindsight, but the opportunity to score right before halftime."
The Cardinals did have a nice screen play for 24 yards to David Johnson late in the first half down to the Chiefs 30-yard line, but two straight sacks took the Cards out of field goal range.
"You get those three points and then you come out in the third quarter and score like we did (a TD), now you are talking about a 10-point swing," Wilks added."
This doesn't excuse the defense on the first drive. That can't happen. All the Cardinals (and Wilks) acknowledge as much. But Wilks wanted the ball to start the second half, and if anything, seeing that the Chiefs always scored when they had it second in the first quarter, having them go first was worth a shot.