Matthew Slater is a special kind of clutch. Yes, he comes up huge on special teams. Yes, he is a role model to all of his teammates. But when it comes to deciding the fate of his team in stressful overtime situations, Matthew has an excellent track record.
In Super Bowl LI, when the Patriots awaited to see if they would get the ball first against the Falcons, Matthew called heads. Patriots fans saw a familiar scene when Matthew called heads yet again before the overtime period against Kansas City in the AFC Championship.
"We want the ball," he said.
Matthew always calls heads. It's more than just a superstition. It's more than consistency for consistency's sake.
It's in family and in faith, and it's worked for the Patriots.
"Well, I remember as a child watching my father play in L.A. and him going out and doing the coin toss for the Rams. He always called heads, so I asked him one time, 'Hey, why do you do that? What's the story behind that?' I think anyone who knows my family knows faith is important to us," Matthew said at his press conference on Monday. "For him, he was always like, 'You know, God's the head of my life, so I call heads.' That was something he came up with and I've kind of just embraced it. I'm glad it's worked out for us here the last couple times when we needed it."
As for his official record with coin tosses, Matthew doesn't know the numbers. As far as he's concerned, there are two that stand above the rest.
"But I'm glad that the two biggest ones I've been involved in have thankfully worked out for us," he said.