NFL on Packers-Cardinals coin toss flap: Ref didn't need to re-flip

One of the oddest moments in the Packers-Cardinals game on Saturday came after regulation ended when referee Clete Blakeman called both teams out to midfield for the overtime coin toss. 

As the visiting team, the Packers were asked to call heads or tails. After Blakeman attempted to flip the coin, Aaron Rodgers called tails, and that's when things got interesting. 

When Blakeman threw the coin in the air, it didn't flip. Instead, the coin stayed flat like a pancake and landed on heads. The Packers immediately complained that the coin didn't flip, so Blakeman decided to re-toss the coin. 

However, there's nothing in the NFL rule book that says a ref has to re-toss a coin and the league confirmed that on Sunday.  

"There is nothing in the rule book that specifies this," the league said of a re-flip, via ESPN.com. "But the referee used his judgment to determine that basic fairness dictated that the coin should flip for the toss to be valid. That is why he re-tossed the coin."

Basically, the NFL isn't saying that Blakeman was right or wrong.

However, since Blakeman did decide to flip the coin again, it's fair to think that he should have followed the same protocol as the first flip and asked the Packers to call "heads" or "tails." Blakeman didn't do that though and he assumed that Green Bay wanted to call tails again, which left Aaron Rodgers fuming. 

Rodgers called the flip a "debacle."

"Clete had it on heads. He was showing heads. So I called tails. And it didn't flip," Rodgers said. "It just tossed up in the air and did not turn over at all. It just landed on the ground. So obviously that was not right. He picked the coin up and flipped it to tails and then he flipped it without giving me a chance to give me a re-call there. It was confusing. I think he was trying to avoid the embarrassment of what happened -- He flipped it quickly."

Although the Cardinals won the toss both times, Rodgers' point is that maybe they wouldn't have won it the second time if he had been given a chance to make a heads or tails call. Rodgers based his first call on how Blakeman was holding the coin. 

Either way, the Packers lost the toss both times and the Cardinals went on to win the game by scoring a touchdown on their first offensive possession. 

There was some confusion during the overtime coin toss. (NBC)
Steve Smith, who helped the Giants win an NFL title as a rookie in 2007, announced his retirement. (NBC)
CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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