Saints quarterback Drew Brees wants to spend more time on the field this season, and see his punter and kicker on the field less.
Asked today on the Dan Patrick Show if he believes the Saints should go for it on fourth down more often, and go for two after most touchdowns, Brees says he absolutely thinks they should.
“Personally, I feel like if we went for two, we could make it more than 50 percent of the time, and I think fourth down, depending on where you are on the field, if you’re in a manageable situation we could convert most fourth downs. So I’m all for it,” Brees said.
Most statisticians who have studied the matter agree with Brees on fourth downs: The analytics people say it’s clear that NFL coaches are too quick to punt and too hesitant to go for it.
As for going for two, last season across the league extra points were good 94.2 percent of the time, while two-point conversions were good 47.9 percent of the time. That means two-point conversions were actually a slightly better bet than extra points.
So the math is in favor of Brees, and of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who said yesterday that he wants to go for two after every touchdown. And most fans surely agree, as it’s always more fun to see teams go for it on fourth down or go for two than kick. The only question is whether any NFL coach will buy into that strategy. So far, NFL coaches have proven themselves to be more cautious than fans and quarterbacks might hope.