The two-point conversion math can be massaged in any number of ways, as we have seen in the last day. It basically comes down to this: if you realistically think the odds are better than 50-50 that you’re going to make it, you should roll the dice rather than risk the vagaries of overtime.
Which is what Eagles coach Doug Pederson did, unsuccessfully.
But here is the thing. If you want to argue math, that’s clearly an argument. But if your argument is, well, they’re 5-8 so why the hell not, that isn’t an argument at all. That’s a plea to get it over with because you have something better to do than watch an overtime.
Or, put another way: if it makes sense to do it when you’re 5-8, it also makes sense to do it when you’re 8-5. And, well, some day we might find out if Doug Pederson really feels that way.
In the meantime:
Les Bowen walks us through the whole decision, as well as the rest of the game. He begins, “Doug Pederson probably made the choice he had to make, going for the win on a two-point conversion with four seconds left, down 27-26, instead of kicking an extra point and heading into overtime. Pederson and the Eagles were underdogs, on the road, their offense forced to slug and flail its way downfield, fighting hand-to-hand, all the way through a bleak, raw December afternoon.”
Zach Berman, too, breaks it all down. And as he says, “The Eagles haven’t won a game in more than a month and are not going to the playoffs. Pederson wasn’t thinking overtime. He ended the game on the play — just not the way he hoped.”
Bob Ford, too, chews on Pederson’s dilemma. He writes, “So, when the Baltimore Ravens and their unexpectedly pliant defense allowed the Eagles to come back from 10 points down in the final minutes on Sunday, leaving Pederson with the win-or-die choice of going for a two-point conversion that would decide the outcome, he was happy to flip the coin and live with what the football gods decided. Unfortunately for the Eagles, this is the way the flips have gone this season.”
Bob Brookover wonders (as do his players) about a big decision made by Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Mike Sielski asks this question: if the Eagles really are rebuilding, who exactly is being developed?
John Smallwood says the Eagles need to keep Carson Wentz at low-risk for the rest of his rookie season.