KANSAS CITY, Mo. - One hundred yards of frozen turf, it’s where the AFC Championship was supposed to be decided. But ask many fans around Kansas City, and they will tell you the game turned on a 50-50 proposition.
After the Chiefs scored 24 points in the 4th quarter to tie the game at 31, the two teams gathered once again at the 50 yard line for a coin toss to determine which team would get the ball to begin overtime.
“That was the ball game, I knew Tom Brady was going to drive the length of the field and win the game. There was no way the Chiefs were going to get the ball back," Todd Bryan said.
Including the preseason the Chiefs won the coin toss 13 times in a row at staggering odds of 8192 to 1.
“Every week we just think it’s going to go the other way and it just doesn’t," Chiefs Tackle Eric Fisher said in November.
The Chiefs won the opening coin toss in both playoff games. But on the biggest stage the overtime coin toss went the Patriots way. Tom Brady marched his team down the field, while the NFL's likely MVP could only root on his team.
“If we got the chance we felt like we were going to score," Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes said.
“It was heartbreaking to see him on the sidelines because there was nothing else he could do, and that shouldn’t be like that," Chiefs fan Sandy Hudson said.
A petition on Change dot org Monday called on the NFL’s competition committee to change overtime rules to let each team get a chance to score. Current rules only extend overtime with a defensive stop, or field goal. An opening touchdown ends the game.
“Each team should have a possession regardless, you play basketball or any other sport, each team gets a chance with the ball," Chiefs fan Bart Guenther said.
Chiefs players and Coach Andy Reid downplayed the significance of the overtime rules, saying the team had its chances.
“You shouldn’t be rewarded if the other team scores, you got to stop them on defense," Chiefs Safety Jordan Lucas said.
“It’s what the league came up with, I support it. I sure would have liked to have another crack though," Reid said.
As would of Mahomes and fans, who think the Chiefs would be on their way to the Super Bowl if a tiny piece of metal landed on tails.
“Absolutely, Patrick Mahomes would have went all the way down there," Guenther said.
The NFL changed the rules to require game-ending touchdowns on the opening possession of overtime after the 2009 NFC Championship when the Saints defeated the Vikings with an overtime field goal without the Vikings ever getting the ball.