Two-point conversion

What is the Definition of A Two-Point in American Football?

A two-point conversion is a scoring play in American football that takes place immediately after a touchdown. Teams have the option to choose between attempting a more common one-point conversion by kicking the ball through the goalposts or opting for a two-point conversion. The two-point conversion involves running or passing the ball into the end zone from the opponent’s two-yard line, gaining two additional points for a successful attempt.

Although the concept of a two-point conversion has been used in various forms throughout the history of American football, it has gained significant importance in recent years due to strategic advantages it can provide. Teams often use this play when trying to catch up from a point deficit or to gain a psychological edge over their opponents. As a result, the two-point conversion has become a quintessential part of the strategy for many teams, leaving fans and analysts eager to discuss its implications on the game.

Key Takeaways

  • Two-point conversions follow a touchdown, offering teams a choice between one and two additional points
  • The play involves running or passing the ball into the end zone from the opponent’s two-yard line
  • It has become a strategic component in American football due to potential advantages and game dynamics

Basics of a Two-Point Conversion

The Procedure

A two-point conversion is an alternative scoring play in American football that occurs immediately after a touchdown. Instead of kicking a field goal for one extra point, the offensive team attempts to score two additional points by running or passing the ball into the end zone on a single play, starting from the opponent’s two-yard line. This is a riskier play compared to kicking for one extra point, but it can be advantageous in certain situations.

When to Attempt

Teams typically attempt a two-point conversion in scenarios that can affect the game’s outcome, such as when the score is close or when trying to catch up in the final moments of a matchup. By successfully converting a two-point attempt, the team can either close the score gap or increase their lead, potentially impacting the overall result of the game. However, since the play is riskier than a single-point kick, coaches must carefully consider the risk-reward dynamic before opting for a two-point conversion.

History of the Two-Point Conversion

The two-point conversion is a strategic move in American football that enables a team to score two points after a touchdown by taking an additional play from the opponent’s two-yard line. This tactic has a rich history dating back to the sport’s rugby roots.

In 1958, the two-point conversion was introduced to the college football landscape. This rule change dramatically influenced the course of the game, allowing teams to potentially gain an eight-point advantage through a single possession. Just two years later, in 1960, the American Football League (AFL) adopted the two-point conversion rule and implemented it throughout the league’s existence, which lasted until 1969.

Despite the AFL’s adoption, the two-point conversion did not immediately carry over when the NFL and AFL merged. However, the merged league experimented with a compromise rule in 1968. Eventually, the NFL recognized the value of the two-point conversion in the sport, particularly as kickers were becoming increasingly influential in games.

Today, the two-point conversion remains an exciting and critical aspect of American football. It continues to keep fans on the edge of their seats and challenges coaches and players to strategically navigate their path to victory. Teams often need to weigh the risks and rewards of attempting a two-point conversion, adding another layer of excitement to the sport’s already thrilling atmosphere.

Significance in the Game

Strategic Importance

The two-point conversion in American football is a scoring opportunity that a team may choose to attempt after scoring a touchdown. This alternative play offers teams a chance to add two extra points to their total instead of the more common one-point field goal conversion. The strategic importance of a two-point conversion comes into play when a team wants to close a point gap, take the lead, or create a more secure margin during a game, particularly during crucial moments or near the game’s end.

Impact on Scoring

The impact of a successful two-point conversion on the game’s scoring can be significant. In addition to the six points earned from a touchdown, a successful two-point conversion adds two more points, for a total of eight points. This can be especially beneficial in situations where a single point from a traditional field goal conversion would not be enough to tie or win a game.

However, going for a two-point conversion also involves risk, as the team has only one chance to execute the play and pass or run the ball across the goal line from the opponent’s two-yard line. Failing to convert means missing out on the extra point(s) and potentially allowing the opposing team an opportunity to capitalize later in the game.

In summary, the two-point conversion is both a strategic option and a high-stakes play that can greatly impact the game’s outcome. Teams must carefully weigh the risks and benefits before choosing to attempt a two-point conversion, considering the game situation, their own strengths, and the opponent’s weaknesses.

Controversies and Criticisms

The two-point conversion has been a topic of debate since its introduction to American Football. Some fans and analysts argue that its implementation adds a strategic aspect to the game, while others believe it can be unfair and disrupt the flow of the game.

There have been concerns about the decision-making process of coaches when opting for a two-point conversion. Success rates have fluctuated over the years, causing critics to question whether it’s worth the risk. According to a New York Times article, coaches like Andy Reid have come under scrutiny for their decision to go for an extra point when a two-point conversion could have potentially turned the tide in their favor.

Furthermore, the NFL rulebook specifies how penalties on two-point conversion attempts should be handled, but has been criticized for being unfair. For example, if a team commits consecutive penalties after scoring a touchdown, they can unintentionally exploit an obscure rule and gain an advantage, as evidenced in a game between the Broncos and Bears in Week 3.

Another point of contention is the variance in rules regarding the two-point conversion across different leagues. In college football, the two-point conversion was introduced in 1958, with the goalpost uprights being widened in 1959 to make extra point kicks more successful. In comparison, the NFL reviewed its format in 2014 and changed the scoring system: seven points for a touchdown without an extra-point attempt, eight points with a successful running or passing conversion, and six points with an unsuccessful attempt. This lack of uniformity can create confusion and inconsistency for players, coaches, and fans alike.

While the two-point conversion does add strategic depth and may increase excitement in close games, it is not without its controversies and criticisms. The debate over its fairness and impact on the overall game experience will likely continue as long as it remains a part of American Football.

Notable Two-Point Conversions

One memorable two-point conversion took place during Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. The Patriots pulled off a successful two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, which helped cement their victory. Quarterback Tom Brady completed a pass to wide receiver Julian Edelman to convert the play, pushing the Patriots’ lead to 28-24.

Another notable two-point conversion occurred in the 2016 college football National Championship game between the Clemson Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide. With minutes left in regulation, Clemson attempted a gutsy two-point conversion that would have tied the game. Quarterback Deshaun Watson attempted a pass to wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, but the play was unsuccessful. However, Clemson went on to win the game in dramatic fashion.

In Week 7 of the 2019 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens achieved a unique milestone with a two-point conversion attempt. Down by 17 points to the Seattle Seahawks, the Ravens scored a touchdown and elected to attempt a two-point conversion. Quarterback Lamar Jackson successfully ran the ball into the end zone, marking the first time in NFL history that a team trailing by 17 points successfully completed a two-point conversion in the third quarter.

The 2018 NFL season saw multiple high-stakes two-point conversion attempts during Week 17. The Minnesota Vikings, down by five points to the Chicago Bears, attempted a two-point conversion with just minutes remaining. However, the play failed, and the Vikings lost the game, eliminating them from playoff contention. The same week, the Pittsburgh Steelers successfully converted a two-point play against the Cincinnati Bengals, but ultimately missed the playoffs due to other results.

These examples highlight some unforgettable two-point conversion plays in American football and underscore the strategic significance that such plays can have on the outcome of games.