Washington scored a late touchown on a fourth down that gave the home team a 10-point lead over the Buccaneers. When the time came to go for one or two, coach Ron Rivera opted to go for zero.
“Well, if they block [the one-point attempt] and return it, then it’s a one-score game,” Rivera told PFT by phone after the 29-19 victory. “Of course, they got to execute the two-point play, but still why put ourselves in that position?”
It’s the right approach. Indeed, a two-point return by the Bucs would have left the door open just a crack for Tampa to force overtime.
Rivera said that, as is the case with many teams, Washington’s analytics expert has an open line to the head coach. The word came from analytics to simply take a knee, and that’s what Washington did.
It nailed down an unlikely win for Washington over the Buccaneers, one week before Rivers goes back to Carolina for a game against the Panthers and Cam Newton.
Finally, the failure to add a point or two didn’t make a difference in the wagers on the game. Washington was a big underdog, and the over-under was 51. If it was 48 or lower, it definitely would have been an issue.