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Dan Quinn relying on guts, not stats in 2-point debate


Despite a flurry of close losses during his first season under the headset, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn doesn't believe opting for the 2-point conversion is the solution to his problems.

"How many things are they going to do from the 2-yard line?" Quinn said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "You score 50 touchdowns. What 50 2-point plays are you running from there?"

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"Like most things, knowing when you have an advantage, take it," Quinn added. "Those guys like Mike (Tomlin), Sean (Payton) and Mike McCarthy are three coaches that I really respect a lot. If they have a decision about it, I'll respect that. It might not be ours at the time. But that doesn't mean I don't respect it."

"... Sometimes, it's gut."

Quinn referenced the Packers, Steelers and Saints because the coaches and star players on the team have been outspoken about increasing their number of 2-point tries in the future. Drew Brees backed Ben Roethlisberger's push to go for it after every touchdown. With the longer extra point decreasing the likelihood of a extra-point conversion by roughly six percent, the 2-point conversion ultimately becomes the smarter play. The Steelers hit on more than 70 percent of their tries last year in 11 attempts, which was by far the most in football. Still, they kicked the ball 34 times.

Play-call volume is an interesting excuse, though, and one that was mentioned by McCarthy in the past as well. Do coaches have enough time and energy to increase the number of scripted plays by roughly six or seven in a game and have enough of a variance to sustain that volume throughout a 16-game season and the playoffs?

It might be the one thing keeping coaches from flipping the script entirely. Statistically, even if teams are hitting at a 48 percent success rate on 2-point conversions, they would earn more average points per attempt over the course of the season than a kicker who completes the league average extra point (94.2 percent last year).