Football Five: Will The Two-Point Conversion Impact NFL Week 7 Games?

The New York Giants were part of an NFL trend that may have reached an extreme Sunday. The Washington Football Team went for two points and failed.

Had the play gone the other way, Big Blue might have been sitting at 9-6 instead of 1-5.

Here’s something to ponder: Has the thinking on two-point conversions gone overboard?

Two coaches tried them in big situations Sunday and lost games.

Time to examine the Football Five for NFL Week Seven.

1. Washington + the 2-point gamble

Riverboat Ron Rivera, the coach of the Washington Football Team, gambled on a two-point conversion rather than kick the extra point Sunday afternoon. Washington scored a  touchdown against the Giants with 38 seconds left in the game.

When the conversion failed, New York had its first win of the season, 20-19.  This was a bizarre decision, because the Giants did not have enough time left to score in regulation and Rivera could have taken his chances in overtime.

Who got burned besides Washington?

Bettors of New York at -1.5 to -3 points and those who gambled on the game getting to overtime. Even the NJ sports betting customers who took the  over 43 total points might have obtained a push with an overtime field goal or a possible victory with an overtime TD.

Bettors have a difficult time with unconventional coaching. And so do the franchises.

Rivera’s team would have looked a lot better at 2-4 than 1-5, especially with this week’s home game against the 2-4 Dallas Cowboys.

2. Bold + aggressive decision, part two

Bold and aggressive decisions, part two, pertains to the Houston Texans coughing up a game they seemingly had in their pockets against the Tennessee Titans.

Romeo Crennel of Houston made a puzzling decision. The Texans scored a late TD to go up 36-29, but he decided to go for two points, and it failed.

Wondering what happened next?

The Titans rumbled down the field and scored with four seconds left. Then they kicked the extra point to force overtime. They won the coin toss, scored a TD on the ensuing drive and Houston lost not only the game but the cover of +3 at DraftKings  Sportsbook.

Crennel should have kicked the extra point, forcing Tennessee to get a touchdown AND a two-point conversion to forge a tie. That puts a lot of pressure on the offensive team.

Crennel said he sought the knockout punch in going for two points. Understandable. But he put the pressure on his own team to make the two-point conversion. Better to force the opponent to make it.

When the two-point tactic failed, consequences were severe for the affected teams Sunday. Riverboat Ron crapped out, and Crennel lost in overtime.  This double dose of aggression may cause a reduction in outright boldness throughout the league.

More teams have become more aggressive, but what happened Sunday could be a tipping point the other way.

3. NFL Week 7: must-see, must bet

The dream matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans is on for Sunday. Both teams are 5-0 and displaying more sophistication each week. The game is highly bettable, with the line appealing to gamblers on both sides.

Tennessee showed ingenuity in lining up Derrick Henry from the quarterback spot on the game-winning touchdown run against the Texans.

Pittsburgh shows the ability to pass the ball deep, flood several receivers to one side and use the continued rejuvenation of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben is having a remarkable year, with 11 touchdowns and only one interception. Chase Claypool has emerged as a new deep threat to go with a talented receiving corps.

Ryan Tannehill is an underrated star for Tennessee at quarterback, and Henry is the league’s best rusher by far. Add a 94-yard scoring run against Houston on Sunday to that ledger.

4. Teams are down, but never out

Coming into Week Six, there had been a team each week that had been down at least 16 points and come back to win. That streak continued Sunday.

The Indianapolis Colts trailed the Cincinnati Bengals 21-0 in the second quarter. But they stormed all the way back to triumph, 31-27.

The Colts were likely +300 or better when they trailed 21-0. If you believed in them, that was a profitable leap of faith.

The loss will be disheartening for Cincinnati but will probably build a level of resolve. Bengals bettors weren’t sulking much. Cincinnati covered the +8 spread at DraftKings and FanDuel Sportsbook and became 5-1 against the spread this season, tops in the league.

Cincinnati hosts the Cleveland Browns in another Battle of Ohio. Indianapolis joins the Minnesota Vikings on the bye.

5. Can’t  “over” state the numbers

Through five weeks, the NFL sported its best offensive totals in history.

The league had scored 453 touchdowns. That’s more than 90 per week, up about 20 over most seasons.

Speedy receivers and the lack of double-team coordination with defensive safeties and corners contributes to the scoring spike. Bettors love it because it brings more props and score anytime wagers into play.

Extra considerations for NFL Week 7

We’ve talked here about new coaches with the Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons the last two weeks. Each provided a win and a cover in the first game. The Falcons became one of the last teams to win their first game this season, securing a 40-23 stomping of the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday.

There is no longer an undefeated team against the spread, as the Green Bay Packers were crushed by the Tampa Bay Bucs, 38-10. The Pack visits the Texans this week.

The 1-4 Los Angeles Chargers are much better than their record. Heartbreaking losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints are on their ledger. They are due to win.

The line does you no favors this week as the Chargers host Jacksonville, but they can be used in some other moneyline parlays.

Associated Press 


About the Author

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.