clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays

New, comments

Going for two on a consistent basis requires building a new group of eleven guys. Which eleven guys would you put out there to get 2.1 yards?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1. Happy belated Father's Day to all of you dads out there. I have often wondered about the glory that would surely coincide when an NFL Sunday shared billing with Father's Day Sunday. I am always happy to have a day when I am expected to "take it easy." When it is hot and muggy, all the better! Still...Father's Day and the NFL would make a power couple indeed--like Brad and Angelina. Maybe it is better that they will never meet up. Then again, knowing the NFL like I do, I would bet a ton of money that at some point in the near future, they will plan a marquee event for Father's Day.

2. I raised the issue of the two-point conversion in last week's Sixpack, and I am doubling down on the subject today. I understand that the world that exists after a touchdown is scored is largely unchanged--especially if you believe that kickers don't consider the 33-yard extra point distance that much harder than the previous spot and distance. I just think that there will be teams (multiple teams, not just the Eagles) that will gamble on their ability to convert at least 50% of their two-point attempts. Mathematically speaking--always the highlight of any Sixpack--if you make 50% of your two-point conversions, it is the same as making 100% of your extra point kicks. Or almost the same...I do understand the timing aspect--in any given game, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the 50% mark in a contest decided by one or two points.

3. No coach is going to be accused of gambling his team's chances of winning away by sending out the kicker after every touchdown. A 33-yard kick might not be as much of a lock as the previous kick was, but most coaches will assume their kicker can get 100% of those attempts. Assuming that, I think your average NFL coach (think Tom Coughlin, Jeff Fisher, or some other grizzled veteran coach) will require a better payoff on the two-point strategy than just a 51% success rate.

4. Inside of a hard-fought football game, every decision made comes with a counter-decision made from the other sideline--and your own sideline as well. Whether you convert or not, the rest of the game's moves are going to come with a slightly different calculus. This is the big fear, and will likely keep most coaches firmly in play-it-safe mode. After all, converting 60% of two-point conversions is not a great stat if fans and players will relentlessly point to two games where the strategy seemingly cost the team chances to win.

5. For me, the conversion rate has to be 75% to consider going for two on a consistent basis. OF COURSE I am kicking for one with the game tied and seconds on the clock. OF COURSE I am going for one when the game's outcome is settled. In run-of-play though, if I think I can make three out of four attempts, I am going for two.

6. Okay, so with all the stupid math worked out, I leave you with this thought to discuss: going for two is not about putting your offense back out on the field in my book. If I am a coach that is seriously considering this tradition-shunning strategy, I am building a new group of eleven guys. Specifically, I am looking to see how I can incorporate some of the mean, physical stylings of a nasty defensive lineman. I am looking to see how I can get a guy like Preston Smith onto the field. I am looking for a way to send Evan Spencer onto the field because I know how physical he likes to get on the blocking side of things--but he can also catch that rare option-style pass. This unit can't just be the starting eleven guys--it has to be a group of eleven guys that is dedicated to nothing other than the proposition of getting 2.1 yards. There is enough room on an NFL roster to build this group out, assuming that you have drafted your depth players well.

To those of you that would answer all of this with a simple, "This will simply never happen in this league," all I can say is that just by virtue of uttering those words, it is already more than likely to transpire.