When it came to Saturday’s game, San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was asked, if he would change how he approached the coin toss to prevent Jordan Love from getting his hands on the ball early in the game.
In the second half of the wild-card round, the Green Bay Packers caught the Cowboys off-guard after winning the toss. Surprisingly, they decided to receive the ball and race down the field for a touchdown, kicking off their triumph over the Dallas Cowboys.
It appears that the 49ers are not concerned with the Packers doing the same against them. When reporters asked Shanahan if he would alter his strategy after winning the toss to throw off Packers quarterback Jordan Love’s potential rhythm, he responded with a single word: “Nope.”
“I think he can have rhythm in the beginning of the third quarter too,” Shanahan said. “I think he had some good rhythm on the second drive, also. I don’t think it’s because he started with the ball personally, but that’s just everyone’s preference. It’s always good to get up to a big lead. It’s also good to score at the end of the second quarter and get the ball first, just like Dallas did, which would’ve got them right back into it if they did score in the opening third and Green Bay didn’t answer.
If I felt our team was struggling with something that would change my mind. I usually think that’s just coincidence. When you play good football, usually you score. When things don’t happen, you don’t.”
Shanahan believes that going for a possible two-for-one at the end of the first half and the beginning of the third quarter is more beneficial than attempting to keep the ball out of the hands of an opponent for the first drive of the game.
“You’ve got a chance to get an extra possession,” he added. “I didn’t used to know this or think it, but just listening to people for the last 15 years. I didn’t think about it all growing up or when I first got into the league, but watching it all now and really studying it since I was in Atlanta, I just feel pretty strong about it.”
That’s all, then. If the 49ers win the toss, they will defer.