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.