If you haven’t heard, the NFL is considering a rule change that would lengthen extra point attempts after touchdowns from their current length of 20 yards (the ball is snapped from the two to a holder at the 10 and 10 yards are added for the depth of the end zone) to 42 or 43 yards (with the ball snapped at the 25). Currently, extra points are so routine and kickers are so automatic that the NFL sees it as a useless play. Backing it up to 40+ would cause a drop in accuracy from almost 100% to the low to mid 80s (according to historical field goal attempts of a similar length). With less certainty of conversion, the play would become relevant again.
But so too would the two-point conversion attempt, a relatively gimmicky play only used in desperation presently. Most teams “go for two” only a handful of times a season, with a conversion percentage in the low 40s historically. But do the math. If a team scores 100 touchdowns and makes 85 extra points, they score 85 points. If they go for two and convert 43 of 100 times, they score 86 points. Suddenly, coaches would be forced to consider scrapping the extra point altogether and going for two exclusively. (On a side note, they won’t because—in my opinion—NFL coaches are, with a few exceptions, too buttoned down to do anything that isn’t the norm.)
Which brings us to Tim Tebow. Even the most diehard Tebow haters, the ones who think he has no football talent whatsoever (and who, for the record, have never watched SEC football on a Saturday afternoon) would have to admit that he is a bruising, physical runner with a determination and drive—physical, mental, and emotional—that is unmatched. From two yards out, even when you know it’s coming, a Tebow power run is hard to stop. Ask anyone from the LSU Tigers to the Miami Dolphins. I think the Packers should sign Tebow as their two-point QB, put in a package of plays that include some option, some zone read, some jump passes, and plenty of power runs. He won’t score every time, or even close. But all he has to do is score half the time and it is worth more than even a 90% accurate kicker.
So why the Packers? I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool Packer fan, but they are the home-state team, they are my Dad’s team, they are my wife’s team. So I cheer for the Packers. Second, the Packers kicker, Mason Crosby, has had some consistency issues of late. He’s a very good kicker, but he has, particularly from 40+, had his struggles. Ask a Packer fan how they’d feel if Crosby was lining up for a 43-yard extra point to tie a game late in the 4th quarter. Far from confident. Third, kicks in Green Bay are a little more difficult than in some other places. Come November, December, and January, the cold air turns the ball into a cinder block and the wind comes gusting across the plains. (Remember the playoff game against the 49ers last year?) Along with the dirt they call sod at Lambeau Field, the weather makes for kicking conditions that are far from ideal. Suddenly that 43-yard extra point is little more than a fifty-fifty proposition. And fourth, the Packers can run the ball. Not always, but when they put their minds to it, they can be quite successful. They have an emergent young tailback and a fullback with a nose for the end zone. The line is beleaguered, and rightly so at times, but they can also get in a downhill groove.
There would have to be some consideration given to late-game situations, how they affect percentages, what if Tebow gets hurt, etcetera. But look at how gimmicks such as the wildcat and the zone read temporarily threw NFL coaches into a state of confusion and chaos. Lining up and going for two every time could produce a similar response. And Tebow is a “locker room guy,” something that shouldn’t be overlooked. And given a few years of practice, maybe he develops into a pretty solid NFL quarterback. Scoff if you want. Maybe he never does, and maybe in a few years you draft the next Darren McFadden to be your 2PQB. Either way, Tebow for Two makes sense in the here and now.
Think about it. You’re a linebacker. Tebow and Eddie Lacy need 2 yards one out of two tries. Like your chances? Better yet, you’re a semi-sober(ish) Packer fan in the front row of the north end zone. You’re telling me you don’t want Tim Tebow waving his arms in the air as he runs and leaps in your direction?