The Philadelphia Eagles are 7-0 in coin tosses so far this NFL regular season, including one in overtime.
NBC Sports was excited enough by this fact to publish an article trying to explain why the team is such an expert at getting lucky. It must have been a slow news day. The author went to great lengths to explain a 128-to-1 shot, as if those things never happen in sports, or anywhere else.
Eagles’ captains stress about ending streak
The Eagles players are concerned with being the one that goes onto the field and losing something that happens every other time. “There was a bit of pressure on me,” Avonte Maddox, who made the last coin toss call for the Eagles, told NBC Sports. “That’s why I went with tails never fails.”
And it worked. It brought the Eagles to 7-0 in coin flips for the year. Watching hours of film of coins flying in the air paid off once again for the team. However, studying physics and trends is only so much help here.
The visiting team calls heads or tails before kickoff. Hours of watching film of a referee’s techniques and studying the trends of how a coin lands week-after-week does not help if the opponents gets to make the call.
Still, the Eagles have managed to defy the odds for an impressive 3-0 record when having to fade a call by the visiting team’s captain. That 8-to-1 shot is something that will make any home crowd cheer loudly and get the team fired up.
NBC Sports notes how ‘remarkable’ winning seven coin tosses in a row is. The article even cherry-picks two preseason games where the Eagles won the coin toss, to make it a nine-flip streak. We all know that preseason does not count for anything, not even this.
The odds of winning seven coin tosses in a row are 1 in 128. In the big picture, that is not all that remarkable. Theoretically, a team will start the season with seven winning coin tosses once every four years. It is just as likely that a team will start a season losing its first seven coin tosses.
It is even less remarkable if you consider winning seven regular season flips in a row. There is a 25 percent chance it can happen during any seven-game stretch in the NFL, ignoring overtime. Theoretically, it happens one time every 28 games for a team. This makes the over/under of it happening to any random team once every 1.75 NFL seasons.
NFC Super Bowl teams think nothing of this streak
Of course, there was the streak of the NFC winning 14 Super Bowl coin tosses. The Chicago Bears did the same. The odds of that are 1 in 16.384. Both streaks ended with a 1 in 2 occurrence that is pure luck, just like the Eagles’ one eventually will.
The only thing remarkable about the Eagles winning seven coin tosses in a row is that somebody thought it was newsworthy.