Romeo Crennel says he would go for two while up by seven again

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Of all the various analytics quirks that slowly have become commonplace in football, there’s one I can get behind: Going for two when up seven late in regulation.

The logic is simple. Converting the two-pointer ends the game. Failing keeps it a one-score game, with an extra point not a two-pointer needed to force overtime.

Texans coach Romeo Crennel tried it on Sunday in Nashville, after a touchdown gave the road team a 36-29 lead. It didn’t work, the Titans tied the game, and then won it on a first-drive touchdown in overtime. On Monday, Crennel was asked whether he would go for two in that spot again.

“I think I would do it again because you know what? You’re on the road against a division opponent who is undefeated, and if you can get a two-point conversion, you shut the door on them and you win the game,” Crennel said. “I think that when you have that opportunity, if you want to win the game, you go ahead and you try it at that time. So we had a guy open. Unfortunately, the ball got tipped and we didn’t make it. Then, they were able to put it into overtime, they got the coin flip and then they win the game. I would do it again because I think it was a good choice.”

He’s right. The Texans Defense had given up too many yards and points to the Titans. If the Texans had gone for one, the Titans could have still forced overtime. The two-point conversion by the Texans would have ended the game and given the Texans a signature victory.

That’s not to say it should be done in every circumstance, but it should be an option. As one head coach previously explained it to PFT, one of the important factors is the available menu of potential two-point plays. Is there a call that could work against that defense in that spot, or has the best two-point/short-yardage play already been used? If so, is the coach/playcaller willing to use it again?

Regardless, going for two while up seven late in regulation is a viable choice. More coaches should do it, regardless of the fact that it didn’t work for the Texans on Sunday.

6 responses to “Romeo Crennel says he would go for two while up by seven again

  1. Why worry about the opponent screwing up the 2 point conversion when you can do it yourself? I don’t get it.

  2. Who do you trust more? The offense to score a 2 point conversion or the defense to stop a 2 point conversion?

    The answer should be obvious to anyone who watched the game (besides, apparently, Rich Gannon). Especially so considering the status as underdogs on the road. The offense had converted big downs throughout the game, especially in the second half; meanwhile, the defense was giving up like 10 yards a carry. It was a good call, just bad luck that it got tipped.

  3. Crennel has done a great job with this team. They’re responding really well. They were getting blown out by an undefeated team, but they fought their way back and nearly won the game. They were actually in position to put it away with the two point conversion, but the QB missed the wide open receiver. You can’t get anymore wide open than he was, but the ball got deflected at the line. I’d say any coach in America would have taken those odds. Having a WR completely wide open and all the QB had to do was complete a simple pass right in front of him. In case you didn’t see the play, go back and watch it. It was actually a great call by the coaching staff. It was easier than attempting to kick an extra point.

  4. The counterpoint is that the Titans defense had given up just as many points as the Texans and Vrabel kicked the extra point to tie and took his chances in OT. And that worked.

    At some point you have to put at least some trust in your players or you create a self-fulfilling prophecy where they WILL let you down every single time. The minute you start passing up sure 8-point leads for the chance at a 9-point lead you’ve essentially flipped the bird to your defense.

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