23 Nov 2005
"It is relatively common for football teams to find themselves down by two touchdowns late in the game. If they score a first touchdown then coaching folklore says that the team should go for the extra point at that time. In this paper I will show that this strategy, which appears to be universally used in both the NFL and the NCAA, is incorrect, and that going for the two-point conversion after the first touchdown is nearly always significantly better."
The one problem here is that the author is way off on the percentage of extra points missed in the NFL. It isn't six percent, it's one percent. This makes the chances of winning with a "kick extra points" strategy 49.2%, not 45.5%. (You'll understand what I'm talking about after you read this.)
31 comments, Last at 24 Nov 2005, 11:18pm by Felton
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?