I'd like to start a new segment that should spark some discussion on this site among the readers. In this new segment called "Putting The Headset On" you are placed in the position of head coach and you have a decision to make.
The first scenario is you are down 15 points with 4 minutes to play. You score a touchdown to cut the lead to 9 points. Do you...
A. Kick the extra point
B. Go for 2
Conventional wisdom will say go for the extra point and extend the game. You will be down 8 points and it will still be a one score game. The problem is that you are leaving the two point conversion try for later in the game. At this point it will more than likely be your last gasp.
There is no decision to make here. I go for the two point conversion everytime in this situation for the following reasons. You eventually have to go for two anyways and you mine as well be operating with the best information possible. If you go for the two point conversion and fail you are down 9 points. Being down 9 points you are going for an onside kick no matter what you timeout situation is. If you don't go for two and choose to stay down 8 points you leave your are almost definitely kicking it deep and hoping to get the ball back. Should your team get the ball back you need the two point point conversion to tie the game. If you make it, great your going to overtime. If you miss it, well here comes the onside kick and the desperate attempt to get down the field in a hurry.
To conclude: It may feel nice to say you are only down one score if you postpone going for two, but if you miss it you were really down two scores – just like if you missed it after the first TD. The only difference is that you are pretty much doomed if you were playing as if you were only down one score. If you miss after the first TD, there is more time left to try to get the necessary extra score and you can plan accordingly.
If you make it, it doesn’t matter when you went for it. When playing the game of football you want to know what your up against and you want to give yourself the most information to make a decision from as possible. Go for two here every time.
I'll hang up and hope for you to explain to me why I'm wrong.