It was hot debate all day long and there were hypotheticals going all over the place. Ultimately most fans seemed to decide that even if it was the wrong decision, there were many other much larger issues in need of discussion. Brandon Weeden’s overall performance and appearance of lack of preparation come to mind. Bill Barnwell at Grantland ups the stakes a bit with his statistical breakdown indicating that you should always go for two in this scenario unless your chances of converting that two-point conversion is less than 24%. Even as badly as the Browns offense played this weekend, it’s hard to imagine their chances really, truly, without exaggeration were less than 24%.
Barnwell upped the rhetoric further in his section entitled “Thank You For Not Coaching.” A couple of small passages from it…
This isn’t an egregious decision because it came back to haunt the Browns; it’s a critical failure because Shurmur chose the option that added virtually nothing to his team’s chances of winning. Kicking the extra point gave the Browns a 16-10 lead with 14 minutes to go; the only advantage it gave them was having the ability to tie if Philadelphia kicked two field goals. That’s far less likely to occur than the Eagles scoring one touchdown. The value added by a successful two-point conversion is significantly greater, more than enough to justify the risk of going for two…
Situational play-calling tends to be overrated in terms of judging a coach’s total effectiveness, but Shurmur’s decision was so bad that it raises fundamental questions about his core competency.
I implore everyone to read it. It reads pretty matter-of-fact.
Even beyond the actual decision, my eyebrows were raised when Shurmur said they talked about the choice. Like Barnwell, I think that a coach needs to just know what they do in that situation. Even if it doesn’t jive with some other chart, it must be your reflex. I liken it to playing blackjack and pretending like you can feel the cards instead of relying on probability.
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