Washington inexplicably tried a 2-point conversion while up 3 points against the Packers
By Louis Bien
Washington decided to go for 2 points after scoring their second touchdown Sunday, and it could be costly.
Washington and the Packers are locked into a tight game on Sunday Night Football. No lead, nor point, should be taken for granted. That’s why after Washington scored a touchdown with less than a minute left before halftime to take a 13-10 lead, everyone was scratching their heads when head coach Jay Gruden decided to attempt a 2-point conversion instead of attempting what would have been an easier 1-point extra point kick.
With theoretical 4-point lead, Washington would have been able to weather a Packers field goal and still maintain a lead. Meanwhile, a 5-point lead doesn’t do them much good — the Packers would still take the lead on one touchdown or two field goals.
The reason why Washington would make such an odd decision? High winds have been wreaking havoc on kickers all day. There have been 11 missed extra points in Week 11, setting a post-merger NFL record.
Washington kicked an extra point after their first touchdown, but they scored in the first quarter. The wind was blowing against Washington in the second quarter.
After halftime, NBC’s Michelle Tafoya said, “[Gruden] told me they went for two after the Rob Kelley touchdown because they didn’t want to kick in this wind.”
If Gruden felt like Washington’s chances of making an extra point kick were worse than usual Sunday night, it would have made the 2-point conversion more tempting. Even in good conditions, going for 2 points isn’t the worst idea. Teams make 2-point conversions at roughly 47 percent and hit the (extended) extra point attempts at roughly 94 percent last season. If a team went for 2 points every time, they should come out even compared to kicking the extra point. Teams like the Steelers frequently forgo the single point to go for two.
That doesn’t really excuse Gruden, because 14-10 vs. 15-10 is essentially a wash, and being up only 13-10 is potentially problematic. The wind has been messing with teams all day, however, and it appears he caught a glimpse of the damage before Washington took the field.