Going For Two at the End Of Regulation May Be the Smartest Move

A lot was made about the Denver Broncos going for two at the end of their game against the San Diego Chargers. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can go on about the blown call ... but this isn't about that. Go here if you want to moan about it.

That was the first time in a while that a team went for two to win at the end of regulation instead of the PAT that would have just tied it.

I love it!

I always believed this was the smartest move ... yet never saw anyone try it until 1995. That was the first year of the Carolina Panthers and they opening their life at the Atlanta Falcons. After a furious comeback, the Panthers scored a very late TD to trail by a point. Instead of kicking the PAT, Carolina decided to go for two and a win in their franchise's first game. There was a false start, which pushed them back five yards and they ended up kicking the point. The Falcons ended up winning in overtime.

I saw it again in 2005, when my Washington Redskins fell victim to Mike Alstott and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After trailing much of the game, the Bucs scored a very late TD and then went for the two-point conversion and the win ... and they got it.

Why wouldn't anyone do it? I mean, here are your options:

-Have the ball on the two yard line and one chance to score. Just gain two yards and you take the lead. The ball guaranteed in your hands with just two yards to gain.

-Tie and and take chances. Depending on how much time is left, you are giving the ball to your opponent with some chance to make a play to score. Yeah, usually they don't so the game goes into overtime. From there, you are at the mercy of a coin flip to who gets the ball first. If you get the ball, you probably have to gain 50 yards to get in position for a long FG attempt. If you are on defense, you must stop the other team from doing that ... then gaining the yards to get in position for a FG attempt.

I can't see why anyone wouldn't do it.

Well, unless you can't take the heat if you don't get it. Not scoring there leads to all kinds of second guessing (losing in overtime is seemingly accepted as "oh, well"). You also take your team from the ultimate high of getting within a point of tying to nearly sealing a loss with a missed conversion. That's tough.

Again, this isn't just doing it at any point in the game. If there is time to get the ball back in regulation, kick the extra point. But when there is most likely no time to get the ball back, it makes sense.

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