Football 2 Point Conversion
After a football team scores a touchdown, they have the opportunity to add some extra points to the score by either getting a one-point conversion (extra point) or a two-point conversion. Although one-point conversions are attempted much more often, a two-point conversion, successful or unsuccessful, can completely change the look of a game.
What Is a Two-Point Conversion?
To have two points added to the score after the touchdown, a team must enter the end zone with the ball again starting from the two-yard line, basically scoring another touchdown, only this time worth two points. Like a regular touchdown, teams may get the ball into the end zone by passing or running. If the attempt is successful, two points will be added to the score, and the team will have earned a total of eight points on that drive. However, very often, teams are unable to enter the end zone and do not earn the extra two points. In that case, the team only scores six points on that drive.
NFL Two-Point Conversion Rules
In the NFL rulebook, two-point conversions and extra-point kicks are both referred to as “tries.” (In broadcasts and statistics, these plays are also called points after touchdown or PAT.) Two-point conversions are taken from the two-yard line, in contrast to extra-point kicks, which are taken from the 15-yard line.
A team must choose which type of try to attempt before the play begins because of the different ball placements. However, if a team wishes to change the type of PAT they are attempting, they may take a timeout and change the location of the ball. The game clock does not run during either type of PAT play.
NCAA Two-Point Conversion Rules
College football two-point conversions work much the same way they do in the NFL. A minor difference is that they are taken from the three-yard line instead of the two-yard line. Teams may choose to spot the ball farther back if they like. Unlike in the NFL, two-point conversions and extra-point kicks are both taken from the three-yard line in NCAA competition. A unique rule in college football is that after the second overtime in tied games, each team takes turns attempting two-point conversions in order to determine a winner.
Two-Point Conversion Strategy
The extra point kick attempt is the most popular in football. However, teams can choose to attempt the two-point conversion in a situation where having two extra points instead of just one keeps the team with a chance of winning the game, as is the case in the example below:
- With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the score is: Home Team: 21, Away Team: 10
- The away team scores a touchdown, and the score becomes: Home Team: 21, Away Team: 16
In the scenario above, if the away team makes the extra kick, the score would become: Home Team: 21, Away Team: 17. However, if the away team makes the two point conversion, the score becomes: Home Team: 21, Away Team: 18
In this case, it is advantageous for the away team to try the two-point conversion because there is not much time left in the game, and by adding two extra points after the touchdown the away team will only be down by three points, leaving the away team with chances to score a field goal and send it to overtime.
Here is a second scenario in which a team may attempt a two-point conversion:
- With 10 minutes left in the game, the score is: Home Team: 28, Away Team: 17
- The away team scores a touchdown, making the score: Home Team: 28, Away Team: 24
In this case, it would be wise to attempt a two-point conversion, as this would make the score Home Team: 28, Away Team: 26. In this case, all the away team would need to do to win the game is stop the home team’s following drive, reclaim the ball, and kick a field goal to potentially win the game.
How to Attempt a Two-Point Conversion
There are many ways to run a two-point conversion attempt. The standard way is to treat it like a second touchdown, lining up on the two-yard line for a clear offensive play, which may be either a run, a pass, or even a quarterback sneak. However, sometimes, teams will run a trick play on the two-point conversion, in which they will line up with a kicker and holder as if making an extra point, and then instead execute the play by snapping the ball to the kicker or holder, who will instead pass the ball to an offensive player for a two-point attempt. This type of play can be useful because it confuses the defense by making them prepare for an extra point kick, thus catching them off guard with the two-point attempt.
When to Attempt a Two-Point Conversion
Teams are often forced to try a two point conversion late in the game to keep their victory hopes alive. However, is it ever beneficial to try a two point conversion earlier in the game? The answer depends on how much confidence a coach has in their offense.
A two-point conversion nets two points, whereas kicking an extra point only gains a team one point. Therefore, assuming a team can reliably kick extra points, the coach has to be confident that his offense can successfully execute a two-point conversion more than 50% of the time to decide to go for two regularly.
How do you get two points in football?
You get two points in football by making a two-point conversion or scoring a safety. A two-point conversion is one of two options teams have after scoring a touchdown. The other is kicking an extra-point kick. The two-point conversion requires teams to score another touchdown from the two-yard line. A safety is scored when the defense causes the ball to become dead in the offensive team’s own end zone.
What is a conversion in football?
In football, a conversion is either scoring extra points after a touchdown or earning an extra set of downs by passing the line to gain. An extra-point conversion is a special play after a touchdown in which the scoring team may gain one or two extra points by kicking or scoring another touchdown. A down conversion occurs when the offense advances the ball farther than the required 10 yards to the line of gain before they have used all four downs. They are then awarded a new set of four downs.