Should You Go For Two

So, the question most men will always debate amongst themselves is, “should you go for two, or just kick the PAT?” This is a highly debated topic, as some see it as a way of getting an extra point on the scoreboard, while others will see it as a risk with only a little reward.  I think the best teams in the division take chances and succeed.  But, who is right?

Going for Two

Now, if you pass or run the ball in to the end zone your touchdown is worth eight points making your lead a two-possession game to beat.  Having one of the best quarterbacks helps.  However, should you miss; your score will only be a one-possession game to beat with a touchdown and a PAT.

Next, let us understand from a statistical probability of success of the opportunity of going for two. As of last year, there were 94 attempts made for the two-point conversion, of these attempts only 45 were successful. What this means is that of all the attempts made to pad the score, or take the lead via the two-point conversion only 47% were successful.

The main reason for the unsuccessful path of the two-point conversion is the increasing shrunk field, as you get closer to the goal. Especially against top defenses, this is when things get difficult.  This is what generally can make a pass play more difficult to construct, as routes are shorter, and more confined. For the same reason, a run play is made a bit more predictable; however, the other team in a standard goal line formation will generally try to close up running lanes.


Now, if we are not going to be going for two points, what is the result of us going for the PAT (Point After Touchdown)? First, significantly better to sum it up, as the percentages of teams that have been able to make this extra point is at an astonishing 99%. This percentage of success is so high that the league commissioner was thinking of doing away with the extra point all together or lengthening the kick distance. Therefore, from a statistical probability pass, run, or kick; kicking for just one point would seem to have a definite advantage.

Counter Point

Most of the time being conservative, and going for one point will be your best bet. However, there are times being a bit more liberal, risk-taking would be beneficial such as following your touchdown you are still down by two, and it is late in the fourth quarter. However, in contrast, a time not to be liberal would be if you were down by one point, as this would be a time to tie up the game and proceed to overtime. However, in either of the previous examples your goal would be to simply tie it up, and proceed to overtime for the victory.