2 is the new 1 in the NFL; 2-point conversion tries are up
Two is the new one.
NFL teams are going for 2-point conversions more than ever this season. Teams have tried it 59 times through the first seven weeks, converting 35. They’re on pace to break the record of 115 attempted in 1994, the year the NFL adopted the 2-point conversion.
There have been eight entire seasons since 1994 in which there weren’t 59 2-pont conversion tries and only four times has the total reached 100.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel went for 2 points and the win instead of playing for the tie and failed in Tennessee’s 20-19 loss to the Chargers in London.
Giants coach Pat Shurmur went for it down 20-12 and also failed in a 23-20 loss to the Falcons.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was considering it but played for overtime and lost when Justin Tucker missed the first extra point of his career in a 24-23 loss to the Saints.
In Week 5, Eagles coach Doug Pederson went for the 2-point conversion trailing by eight points and was successful. Philadelphia ended up losing to Minnesota but was in position to win the game with a touchdown and extra point after converting. Teams have a higher percentage of winning down six instead of down seven.
Shurmur followed the same logic and more coaches might follow the trend in 8-point games because the success rate for 2-point conversions is nearly 60 percent and they could try again and get the tie on the next touchdown.
Vrabel’s decision was the toughest because kicking an extra point to send the game into overtime is the safer choice. However, that doesn’t always work out as Harbaugh found out with a kicker who had been perfect to that point.
Here’s a look inside more numbers going into Week 8:
UPHILL BATTLE: Bad news for the 14 teams with losing records. Since the current playoff format was introduced in 1990, 88 percent of teams who made the playoffs had a winning record through Week 7.
ADAM’S MARK: Vikings receiver Adam Thielen has at least 100 yards receiving in each of Minnesota’s first seven games this season, tying Charley Hennigan, who did it to start the 1961 season with Houston. Only Calvin Johnson had eight straight 100-yard receiving games at any point during a season. Thielen has 67 catches for 822 yards and five touchdowns.
TEXAN TURNAROUND: The Houston Texans are the sixth team since 1970 to win four straight games following an 0-3 start.
TOPPING T.O.: Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald needs 135 yards receiving to surpass Hall of Famer Terrell Owens (15,934) for second on the all-time list behind Jerry Rice.
GORE’S GRIND: Colts running back Frank Gore is 105 scrimmage yards away from passing Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (18,190) for sixth on the all-time list. Rice is also first in that category.
NAIL-BITERS: Sixty-one games have been decided by one score and at least one game has reached overtime in each of the first seven weeks.