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Thursday, January 9, 2014
Plays that shaped a season: No. 7

By Pat McManamon

The play: The coin toss before the game against the Chicago Bears.

The situation: The Browns won the toss and chose to defer to the second half.

The reason it mattered: When the Bears took the ball to start the game, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski got the ball to start the second half. With a strong wind blowing east to west, Bears coach Marc Trestman took the wind in the fourth quarter -- and Chicago scored 21 points going with the wind. Every point in the game was scored heading to the west end zone, and the Browns gave the Bears that direction in the fourth quarter. Decisions like these -- and calling timeout with the clock stopped after New England’s last touchdown -- eventually led management to wonder and discuss if Chudzinski was their coach.