Roethlisberger says Steelers will keep going for two

AP

The Steelers went for two after their first two touchdowns to jump out to a 16-3 lead on Sunday, an unheard of approach in an NFL where coaches only go for two when they need the points late in games. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says they won’t change that approach.

Oh, we’re going to keep doing it,” Roethlisberger said, via ESPN. “We don’t practice it this much to not do it. We practice it every single day. . . . I tried to tell you guys early on that we would do it, and I think you guys kind of didn’t quite believe it. But it’s something we feel comfortable with.”

The Steelers’ approach is smart: They’re 3-for-3 on two-point conversions while kicker Josh Scobee is 4-for-5 on one-point kicks. As long as they’re averaging 2.0 points per two-point conversion attempt and 0.8 points per one-point kick attempt, they’d be foolish not to keep going for two early in games.

The big question is why the Steelers are the only team going for two early in games. Every team should at least be thinking about going for two as the default approach after a touchdown, and for a team with a good goal line offense and/or a shaky kicker, going for two is the clearly superior choice. The Steelers should keep going for two, and other teams should follow suit.

57 responses to “Roethlisberger says Steelers will keep going for two

  1. Yep. And think how much better teams would be scoring from the two yard line. Just run your two point play you’ve practiced ad nauseam!

  2. Always hated those “go for two” rules. Points are points. To quote Madden, “the team who scores the most points today is gonna win this game!”

  3. Ridiculously small sample size for calling the steelers ‘smart’. Fact is the average 2 pt conversion rate historically is below 50% so the right conservative play is still to kick as long as kickers keep making upwards of 95% of their PATs. We’ll see how aggressive the steelers are when they start getting stopped.

  4. 50% sounds all good.

    Last week the Steelers and the Bills went for 2 five times and converted 3/5 (60%).

    The Bills needed that 100% success rate but unfortunately they were 0/2.

    So no the Steelers are not the only team going for 2, but they are having great success going for 2 but other teams are not as fortunate

  5. Even if the Steelers hit on only 50% of their 2pt conversions that comes out to an expected value of 1. Which is still better than hitting on the current 94% extra point success rate. It’s such a no brainer from that perspective.

    The only argument you can logically place against consistently going for 2 is that it’s 3 or 4 more plays in which one or more of your core offensive players can get hurt. BUT you can’t play scared like that.

  6. If you have a kicker issue, or over 50% successful at 2-pointers anyway, it seems to make sense. The problem comes later in the season as opposing defenses get more used to the new dynamic and more tape on the Steelers’ form. The smarter move might have been to wait until December to unveil it – did they go early because of a slight concern with Scobee or the long-snap. Or more to the point: Scobee is due $3.4M this year and cost them a 4th-round and a conditional pick – if they always planned a lot of 2-pointers as Big Ben suggests, they could have saved big time with a non-veteran kicker.

  7. They won’t get them all. The one they won’t get will be in an AFCN slugfest and they’ll lose by one point. Then let’s see if everyone is ok with “on average” it’s better.

  8. So – full disclosure, Patriots fan here – this is a really smart move not only for the scoring percentage reasons noted above, but also because it forces other teams to spend more time than normal figuring out the best ways to defend against the Steelers always going for it from the two. Smart move by the team.

  9. Did Big Ben say the Steelers would quit trying to end men’s careers like Mitchell did with his absolutely dirty hit on Carlos Hyde?

  10. It clearly makes sense if you are a good offence. Your 2 point tries should be 50%+ and a good idea. Now if you are the Browns…

  11. It only really makes sense if you have a piss-poor kicker. Even now, the XP should be near automatic. If you miss one or two conversions, there are so few TDs scored in a game that by the end of it, just those missed could be the difference between needing a FG or TD at the end. Or of a win vs. overtime, etc. Over the course of a year, it might look like it made statistical sense to go for it if you convert over 50% but you have to go game by game since it is about getting wins.

  12. When you have a QB with an accurate arm, a couple of excellent receivers and a couple of strong RBs, it would be dumb NOT to keep trying it. More teams should be doing it.

  13. This will back fire on Pittsburgh (maybe). When a player gets injured, Mike Tomblin will start blaming the league or whoever came up with the new extra point rule.

  14. That’s a great plan but Scobee will still be the goat when he comes in, after only kicking off 3 or 4 times throughout the game, and shanks a potential game-winning 40+ yard FG as times runs out.

  15. funny how when it comes to the Steelers some people just lose all sense of reality.

    other teams haven’t followed suit because unlike the Steelers some “other teams” have actually played teams with a defense.

  16. Funny how moving the kick back slightly changes perspective, because really that’s the only difference. It’s not any easier or harder to go for two this year. The kick is slightly more difficult, but not really for a good kicker. Funny how the brain works. If going for two is so genius, why is it just starting now?

  17. Josh Scobee is a pathetic excuse for a kicker. I’m shocked that there isn’t an I drafted free agent out there that couldn’t kick extra points for us. The only positive about him is that he can kick the ball into the endzone. #imisssuisham #joshscobeeistheworstkickerinthenflbyfarihopewegofortwoeverytime 😎

  18. Since the team with the most points wins the game, it just makes sense to take every opportunity to earn more points.

  19. Over time, I think I read somewhere (but can’t be bothered to look) that 2-pt conversions average out to 1.6 points. Implies 80% which seems high, and I expect that % to go down as more teams prepare for it defensively. The Patriots have historically been very good on 2 point tries, but it’s frequently when they break out their trick plays. How many times did Brady fake missing the snap on a direct snap to the HB before teams caught on?

    Sure you can say that even if you break 50% on two point tries it’s “worth it” in the long run – and in general I’d agree with you, but in game specific circumstances, there are many times when you cannot afford to give up that one point. So it remains the “safe” bet early in games.

    Here’s something that drives me nuts: when a team is up by 1 point and scores a touchdown late. Inevitably I’ve seen them go for 1 to make it an 8 point lead. Why not go for two and seal the game by going up by 9 and making it a two possession game? At worst you’d be up by 7, and all that’s changed is a kick vs. a two point conversion by the other team to tie it. I’ve seen this a surprising number of times over the years, and no one ever seems to point it out.

    /tangent

  20. All this talk about percentages and averages is ridiculous because points aren’t cumulative throughout the season.

    The pushed back extra point kicks are something like 94% conversion, 2 point conversions this year are 53% (47% all last season). Eventually they will miss and it will impact the game. There is a reason teams take the higher percentage scoring opportunity even if its only one point. They don’t want to be the ones that went for two, missed, and cost them the game.

  21. It depends on the defense. If it’s the bears go for it every time. Maybe they could make aa new 3point conversion from the 10yard line.

    Sad bears fan 🙁

  22. One nice thing about being a Patriots fan, our players aren’t in the news every other day giving away our offensive and defensive plans. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s something he didn’t need to share.

  23. tauntonsyndicate says:
    Sep 24, 2015 6:18 AM
    Until they go 1 for their next 5 and maybe lose a close game because they left points on the table.

    —————————————–

    Perspective: Scobee left 6 points on the table in the game with the Patriots. But they made all their 2 pointers.

    On another note: I liked the story in the offseason about the high school coach who never punts and they win state championships. Giving the ball to the other team doesn’t score points.

  24. 09domer says:
    Sep 24, 2015 7:09 AM
    Ridiculously small sample size for calling the steelers ‘smart’. Fact is the average 2 pt conversion rate historically is below 50% so the right conservative play is still to kick as long as kickers keep making upwards of 95% of their PATs. We’ll see how aggressive the steelers are when they start getting stopped.

    ————————————————————————–

    ben has a higher 2 pt conversion rate than any other qb in history,
    try again sporto.

  25. If you have a kicker issue, or over 50% successful at 2-pointers anyway, it seems to make sense. The problem comes later in the season as opposing defenses get more used to the new dynamic and more tape on the Steelers’ form. The smarter move might have been to wait until December to unveil it – did they go early because of a slight concern with Scobee or the long-snap. Or more to the point: Scobee is due $3.4M this year and cost them a 4th-round and a conditional pick – if they always planned a lot of 2-pointers as Big Ben suggests, they could have saved big time with a non-veteran kicker.

    ——————————————————————————

    that is not what we gave up to get scobee, get your facts straight

  26. Not totally related, but it drives me insane when a team is up by 1 point late in the game and they score a TD. Then they kick the Extra Point to go up by 8. Why not go for two and making it a 9 point lead? 45-50% chance of making it a two score game. If it fails, the other team still needs a TD.

  27. davedsone says:
    Sep 24, 2015 12:30 PM
    One nice thing about being a Patriots fan, our players aren’t in the news every other day giving away our offensive and defensive plans. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s something he didn’t need to share.

    —————————————————————————

    another nice thing is that you are dumb. what exactly is he giving away right now that he wouldnt be giving up when the offense remains on the field?

    i guess your feeble brain is incapable of processing that information. perhaps its because you were pondering on yet another way to break the rules and cheat real football teams and fans out of games.

    all hail the ****

  28. The NFL can be counted on to morph and counter whatever it is that the Steelers are doing right. After a few more games and a larger sample to judge from everyone should have a better idea what to expect each week. I doubt other Teams will follow the Pittsburgh plan.

    In a peculiar twist, stop and think about what the NFL does every time someone does something that gives them an advantage — they change the rules. If everyone gets around the new PAT rule the rules committee will move the attempt back to the 7-8 yard line.

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