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Updated Dec 27, 2015 - 6:03 pm

Since 2012 rule change, only 3 teams chose to kick off in OT

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of New England Patriots' Malcolm Butler (21) during the overtime period of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 26-20. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

Bill Belichick’s decision to kick off to start overtime Sunday backfired. The New York Jets marched downfield and beat New England 26-20 on Eric Decker’s 6-yard touchdown catch.

It was the first time since the 2012 rules change allowing both teams a possession in overtime that the team winning the coin toss and opting to kick off lost. Only two other teams had tried it, including the Patriots in 2013.

Here’s how the games went, with team kicking off listed first.

Nov. 24, 2013: New England wins vs. Denver, 34-31.

Nov. 8, 2015: Minnesota wins vs. St. Louis, 21-18.

Dec. 27, 2015: New England loses vs. New York Jets, 26-20.


AP NFL website: and

(Based on data provided by STATS, previous versions of this story listed 13 similar instances since 1997. STATS now says overtime coin toss data prior to 2012 cannot be verified and some of those examples were incorrect.)

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