It was the middle of the fourth quarter and the Jacksonville Jaguars had just scored a touchdown to bring the score to 30-22. An extra point would make it so that another seven points would tie the game and force overtime.
But they didn’t go for an extra point.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone opted to go for two. They missed on a pass to James Robinson near the sideline, who was tackled before he even got close. The scoreline never got any closer than those eight points. After a few more drives, the game ended.
At the time, it didn’t make much sense. Why go for two in that situation? Why not take the free point and go down the standard seven points?
Because the Jaguars had less of a chance winning in overtime than they did in regulation, according to Marrone:
“So going for two, you look at it, the time of the game, six minutes, it gives you — you know, analytically, it’s the better chance of winning the football game if you go for two right there. I think with the way the game was going, if you get it now he’s trying to put pressure on them for a different ball game. Now you’re going for the win, which is going to be aggressive, so it gives you a better chance to win the football game. That’s why we went for two.”
If your thinking is that this Jaguars team ain’t winning in overtime even if they make it there (and after thinking about it a little longer I think he’s right because this defense was gassed) then going for two after the first touchdown is the right call. Why?
Because it gives you more information earlier. Let’s say you go for two and make it. Well, now you know that an extra point will win the game should your team score another touchdown. But if you miss it, you know you have to go for the two-point conversion should you score another touchdown. It gives you more time to think about what that two-point play is going to be. That’s a good thing.
If we’re going to be upset about anything on the two-point attempt it should be the play call or the execution. Or both. Why are you calling a route that takes a while to develop to the running back across the backfield when you only need two yards? I liked spreading the formation, but why not something quick? Why not over the middle of the field?
Marrone has a history of going for two at the end of games to win, especially on the road. Remember Week 2 last year in Gardner Minshew’s first start? The decision was right then too, but the play call left a lot to be desired.
I’m glad we have a head coach who knows the right time to go for two, but he needs to clean up the play call.