On Sunday, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio did a very bold thing when he decided to go for a two-point conversion with less than a minute left and the Raiders having the opportunity to tie the Saints on the road.
The Raiders got the two-pointer, and the result was a victory for Oakland, a spark-plug win for a young team with high expectations that was trailing by double-digit points earlier.
The folks at ESPN Stats and Info, who do wonderful work finding excellent fun and interesting stats, tweeted out a note that according to their probability model, Del Rio had a better chance of winning the game by kicking.
Del Rio promptly leg-dropped them off the top rope.
ESPN coaching the Raiders would be weird for any number of reasons. Most of all because ESPN is a lot of people and not one single human capable of making decisions on a sideline. Also, would ESPN bring an axe and a giant stump of wood into a locker room? I think not.
Sunday’s call was even bolder of a move from Del Rio than telling his team to chop wood. It was a move that required absolute stones, but also the sort of move you can make when you’re on the road in a tough environment and not doing a great job of stopping Drew Brees on defense.
Someone winning in that way does not happen often.
Per @NFLResearch, Raiders are 4th team to go for 2 in game’s final minute and succeed to win. Last time was 2008: Broncos 39, Chargers 38.
— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) September 11, 2016
But it happened on Sunday, and it apparently wouldn’t have happened if analytics had the final say.
Source: CBS Sports / Del Rio has an amazing response when analytics say he shouldn’t have gone for 2