Every good rule has an exception
At the risk of beating a dead horse — or as the PETA people would like me to say, feeding a fed horse — I want to revisit the go-for-the-win two-point conversion argument just one more time in football.
Mainly because I’m going to argue against myself here.
Philosophically, I’ve argued in this column during this season that teams should kick a single extra point when that likely gets you to overtime.
At various levels of the sport, we’ve seen teams go for two points and fail time and time again, all but ending their hopes of winning a game late. If they’d have made the 2-pointer, the opponent still had a decent chance of mounting a drive for their own winning field goal.
But there was one instance when I had to agree wholeheartedly with the choice to go for two.
It was in last week’s Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs prime-time Thursday night game.
The Chargers came back from a 14-point deficit with less than two minutes to go, certainly possible against KC’s leaky defense.
With 4 seconds left, LA seemingly tied the game, but instead of forcing OT with the extra-point kick, they went for two and made it, winning 29-28.
As far as I’m concerned, it was a perfect storm of circumstances to go for the win then.
The main one was that the Chiefs had, of course, a 50-50 chance of winning the overtime coin flip. As they would take the ball first, they have the perfect offense to move downfield and score a touchdown, by NFL rules ending the game without the Chargers getting their own chance.
I think LA was right, right, right going for the win with a 2-pointer against KC’s worst unit, its defense ranked around 30th in the league.
Now for this week’s picks, which include my colleague who subbed for me recently, Renee Prusi’s. But the actual points in the games are all mine:
Today, 4:30 p.m.
Washington at Tennessee — With new competent QB Joe Johnson, I’d take the Redskins at home. But alas, they’re in Deep South. So Renee and I agree, Titans, 21-20.
Today, 8:20 p.m.
Baltimore at Los Angeles Chargers — Another tough one, but again us AQBs like the homebodies. Chargers, 24-19.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
New York Giants at Indianapolis — Indy’s on too much of a roll for a playoff berth to be stopped now. Renee and I see the Colts, 30-20.
Jacksonville at Miami — The Jaguars have shown up once in about the past month. The odds have Renee and I going with the Dolphins, 24-16.
Atlanta at Carolina — Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has an unknown backing him up, unless you remember when Taylor Heinicke threw for 730 yards in Old Dominion’s 64-61 win over Fordham in 2012.
Apparently, Renee does, as she’s taking the Panthers. But I’ve got the Falcons, 37-24.
Cincinnati at Cleveland — We go as the playoff-bound Browns go — well, Cleveland does have nearly a 1 percent chance of making the postseason. Browns, 31-21.
Tampa Bay at Dallas — Dallas better be angry after last week’s debacle of a shutout at Indy, Renee and I agree. Cowboys, 40-22.
Minnesota at Detroit — Linemen may have to be eligible on every Lions’ offensive play just to give someone for QB Matthew Stafford to throw to. Renee and I go with the Vikings, 27-16.
Buffalo at New England — If the Pats weren’t playing someone that could only beat Detroit by one point at home last week, this game could be up in the air. Alas, us AQBs go with the Patriots, 23-17.
Green Bay at New York Jets — I’ll take Aaron Rodgers’ word for it — he’s playing. And he should have enough pride to will his team, Renee and I agree. Packers, 28-20.
Houston at Philadelphia — I see a big Eagles’ letdown after their prime-time win over the Rams last week. Renee agrees in principle. Texans, 31-19.
Sunday, 4 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona — Speaking of the Rams, they better be as angry as the Cowboys after being humbled in front of the nation last weekend. We agree, Rams, 36-22.
Chicago Bears at San Francisco — The Bears should be rolling, while the 49ers should be satisfied after their win vs. Seattle. In agreement, Bears, 27-14.
Pittsburgh at New Orleans — This looks like a trap game for N’oh-lens. But the Weezy-ana crowd can will a comeback if one is necessary. Saints, 29-26.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
Kansas City at Seattle — I just don’t see the revamped Seahawks’ defense keeping up with Patrick Mahomes & Co. We AQBs stick together, Chiefs, 38-30.
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Denver at Oakland — It looks like they’ve popped the Broncos’ balloon. But a good dose of one of the most intense rivalries in the NFL should perk ’em right back up, Renee and I agree. Broncos, 24-13.
Last week — Renee, 8-8, 50 percent. Steve, 8-8, 50 percent. Season — Renee, 140-81-2, 63 percent. Steve, 133-88-2, 60 percent.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is email@example.com.