Heading into the 2015 season, teams were converting two-point conversions at roughly a 50 percent success rate (47.8 to be exact, and the data, culled by Yahoo Sports, went back five previous seasons). As the longer extra point dropped the success rate of a traditional one-point try, experts believed that the sliding scale between risk and reward would eventually point to the two-point conversion as the smarter play.
During that same 2015 season, the Steelers had the same idea (kind of). They went for two 11 times last year and hit at a rate of 72.7 percent (this, amid some serious kicker problems). Ongoing conversations between Roethlisberger and Tomlin seem to show that the pair have become emboldened by their success. But will they actually ditch the kick altogether?
We encourage Pittsburgh to do so, if only because it will be the first time we can test a season's worth of data with one team. Coaches have largely been stubborn in their acceptance of sports science, statistical studies and historical data dives in the past, and maybe this is another step in the right direction. Going for it on fourth down, another area studied frequently by very smart people, is still nowhere near as prevalent as the numbers dictate it should be.
Coaches earn praise for their ability to accept new concepts and apply them to the field, but the first one to truly marry data, football intuition and common sense will have a Hall of Fame career.