NFL coaches don’t often admit mistakes. They’ll sometimes even defend their own mistakes before they make them, like when Bucs coach Dirk Koetter basically said he knew that the math supported going for two more often but he still wouldn’t do it because he’s scared.
Jets coach Todd Bowles made himself an exception to the rule on Friday, when he admitted that he gaffed on a two-point conversion decision late in his team’s Thursday Night Football win over the division rival Bills.
“I should have [gone for two],” Bowles said in a Friday conference call with reports, per the New York Post. “I was occupied doing something with the defense, and when I turned around, I looked at it. That was my bust, and I’ll get better going forward.”
Good on Bowles for owning the mistake and vowing to do better! That’s real progress for NFL coaches. Granted, this was about the easiest call to go for two ever, and it’s mind-boggling that the Jets didn’t do it.
New York went up 36-24 on a Matt Forte touchdown with 4:02 left in the game, when Bowles elected to kick the extra point. Basic math here: 36 minus 24 equals 12. With a 12-point lead, an extra point, if made, yields a 13-point lead; while a two-point conversion, if made, yields a 14-point lead.
Given the fact that extra points were made at a 94 percent clip even in the first year of the longer extra point, we can confidently say they’re still very nearly automatic. Giving yourself a 13-point lead and “making the other team have to kick the extra point if they score two touchdowns” while give you a loss 94 percent of the time. That’s why you go for two and ensure that two touchdowns and two extra points from the Bills yields a tie rather than a loss.
The Jets got away with it by recovering an onside kick after the Bills’ first touchdown, but had Rex Ryan not wasted a timeout for no reason earlier in the quarter, it’s possible the Jets would have punted back to the Bills and given them a chance to win the game. It didn’t bite them this time, but process sometimes matters more than results, and they need to get this kind of thing squared away for the future.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Todd Bowles owns up to making a big mistake during the Jets’ win over the Bills