Steelers’ 2-Point Revolution Seems To Be Over

Two years ago, it seemed as though the Pittsburgh Steelers were prepared to bring about a miniature revolution about the way that teams approached their offensive game plan, using two-point conversion attempts after touchdowns as a proactive scoring measure rather than a reactive one while playing catch-up from a deficit position.

The Steelers in recent years began their Seven Shots practice sessions that pits the offense and defense against one another on seven plays from the two-yard line, and I do think that this has led to improvements in how both units have performed in goal line situations.

It also seemed to pay dividends, at the time, in their success on two-point plays, but the trend hasn’t carried over. At the time, by the end of the 2015 season, the Steelers had the most success converting on two-point plays over the span of the previous decade, but since then, they have not been able to match their previous efforts.

In 2016, the Steelers attempted nine two-point conversions, the most in the league by two, but they made just three of them, just a 33-percent success rate. Only about eight teams who attempted at least one had a worse conversion percentage. I believe it was the Dallas game in which they attempted and failed to convert all three attempts.

The year before, they attempted 11 two-point conversions, and were successful on eight of them, setting a new NFL record for the most successful two-point conversion in a single season. Through four games this year, however, they have only attempted one two-point conversion.

And it failed.

Though to be fair, it was not the only two-point conversion that they wanted to attempt. In the second game of the season, in the home opener, the Steelers wanted to run a two-point play after a long touchdown to Martavis Bryant, but they were under the assumption that the play clock, which had stopped, was going to reset to 25 seconds.

It didn’t, and they ended up getting a delay of game penalty before they could run the play, a sequence that they were forced to address during the week with questions asked by reporters about what happened with the timing of the play.

This past week, after the teams scored two field goals on drives that stalled due to penalties inside the red zone, it seemed like an ideal opportunity for them to go for two on their next touchdown, attempting to take a 14-0 lead instead of 13-0.

They passed that up, but they did score another touchdown after that in the second quarter, and then attempted the two-point conversion. Looking for the common quick hitter to Antonio Brown working toward the sideline—usually in motion—the Steelers couldn’t connect, however.

It might seem as though the Steelers’ mini-revolution has died before it ever really began. I do wonder how Mike Tomlin will approach the two-point play going forward this year, as it no longer seems to be a regular topic in interviews.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Rick McClelland

    The NFL could set off a scoring revolution by making the two point conversion a little different. Keep the current format for 2 or give teams the opportunity to kick from say 45 yards for the 2 points.
    They could also make field goals a lot more interesting by giving 4 points for 55 yards or more.
    I just threw those distances out there for discussion purposes, but I’m sure they could come up with something. Certainly gives teams that are down by say 11 or 12 points, some options, and creates closer games that will probably draw more fan interest.

  • Steeler Nation!

    I think they wanted to be aggressive at times, keep the foot on the pedal. But also to keep practicing the 2 point plays. You never know when you may have to convert one playing catchup. Up 19-0 is a good time to try it. Regardless of making it or not, you still need to produce in the 2nd half.

  • Steeler Nation!

    We already have too much FG kicking as it is.

  • PghDSF

    I’d like to see all FG/Extra Pts gone. Always have to go for two. Much more exciting than a short kick. Just need a punter to do Free Kick after a TD.

  • PaeperCup

    That was in the midst of their scoring revolution (that never really blossomed). I think the team has gone conservative.

  • Brandon Watson

    I know Steeler Nation seems divided on Coach T and the coaching staff as a whole (I being on the Coach T fan-wagon), but would those of you not so much on the wagon, at least give maybe some chance that maybe they realize the offense isn’t reliable at this point; consequently, they don’t trust the offense enough to go for 2. Where as before, in the midst of the go for 2 ‘revolution’ … they were clicking and had more confidence. I just feel based on a lot of the negative criticisms of the coaching decisions and preparations and game-calling … that there’s an overlying connotation that the coaches do not want to succeed.

    Like, and this is just my opinion, since I’ve not been a part of an NFL franchise in any way, that much of the operations, particularly with the successful teams/franchises is an environment that promotes collaborative thinking and interactions … a trust factor between the players TRUSTING coaches to have them in the right positions based on their analysis of the opponent and the coaches’ TRUSTING the players, based on practice reps and year-to-year relationships as a whole, to do their job and produce (i.e. win their individual matchups and not be cowboys or heros out there … unless you have earned those stripes… double i.e. Debo in the Arizona SB dropping into coverage instead of blitzing and getting that pick 6).

  • NYCSteelCurtain

    They usually go for it at home. I like the aggressiveness!

    Just missed AB on the one this season.

  • NYCSteelCurtain

    This team isn’t divided. Much to do about nothing. We’ll be just fine.

    I actually think Coach T unifies this team in so many ways.

  • Brandon Watson

    I agree … I think they have the luxury of knowing they can fall back on a run emphasized attack b/c they have the lineman and running back AND QB + receiving corp to make defenses stay honest and not load the box all game, so they can be aggressive or ‘conservative’ based on how much confidence they have in either phase of the offense. When the offense starts clicking in the passing game … and they start seeing more consistency there and some of the trust is justified … then I certainly see them turning back into that offense that will just as likely go for the jugular on 3rd and inches as they would 1st and 10.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I think it’s directly related to this 2017 offense being stuck in first gear so far.

    With key players like Bell and Bryant having to work their way back into shape during the season, struggles by AV, and a TE spot that still seems to be coalescing.. maybe once they start to look like the offense they resemble on paper.

  • cencalsteeler

    Watson, Watson and a little more Watson.

  • PaeperCup

    I do wonder why the Run is seemingly out of the question when it comes to 2 point attempts.

  • Brandon Watson

    Heck no, I agree, this team is as unified a team as any and as they’ve always been. I give that credit to the culture the Rooneys have manufactured over the years … you never ever hear of an ex steeler saying anything negative about their experience; it’s why Mr. Steeler himself (Rod Woodson) despite winning his 1 SB with the enemy still wanted inducted as a STeeler, it’s why Kevin Greene only spent 3 years of his HOF career with the Steelers and wanted inducted as a Steeler … etc..)

    I think Coach T unifies as well and is a tremendous leader. It’s why a man as prideful as James Harrison will be cut … allowed to play for a divisional rival … retire … and when called upon .. come back to play for the team that felt he wasn’t worth the money … under the same HC and GM tenure!!! Why don’t people see and recognize those little things … that speak to the caliber of man and coach he is.

  • Brandon Watson

    I have thought the same thing ….. that is one thing I have, humbly, criticized … remember the ole Hines Ward shovel pass … they did it with JuJu against Cleveland or Minnesota. I mean … we have 2 of the best interior lineman in the league in Pouncey and Decastro. I think at the very least … put it on tape …

  • Brandon Watson

    Thanks, I think … hope. I don’t have much of an ego so I wasn’t sure whether the connotation was that you found me annoying as in … on, and on, and on I go or whether you were saying you enjoyed my 2-cents

  • Brandon Watson

    I certainly don’t mean to annoy if that’s the case … so you know

  • cencalsteeler

    I thought the same thing! Also, if your a D defending the Steelers 2 point conversion, what do you look for? AB with MB being a close second. Stop keying on AB cause the D is looking for it. I’d say the 2 point conversion is the perfect time to throw out all of your trick plays to keep the D off guard. It should still be successfull, but the playcalling has become as flat as an open can of Coke thats been in the frig for a few days.

  • Pj Morales

    Hey guys, I’ve been following SteelersDepot for over a year now and finally made an account. I’m from Arizona and never thought I’d go to Pittsburgh but I am in December to see the Patriots game with my father. Does anyone know any places to see before the game and good places to eat?

  • cencalsteeler

    Well, I was referring to Terrell Watson, our 240 lb. back, but if you got some skills and can punch it in from 2 yards back, give Brandon a jersey I say!! 🙂

  • Brandon Watson

    hahahahaha …. ok so neither. hahaha. Sorry … I say I have no ego and I immediately see Watson and think you are pumping me up. I’m embarrassed. lol

  • Brandon Watson

    I will only take a jersey if I can sit on the bench indefinitely and simply collect league minimum. I have 2 lil boys I don’t want to orphan

  • Brandon Watson

    Yep, and please for the love of God … do not do a double reverse

  • cencalsteeler

    I’ll be at that one, too. Looking forward to it. Don’t forget to pack your long johns!!

  • falconsaftey43

    It’s a really good question. League wide from 2014 to today, in Goal to Go from the 2 (i.e. same as 2pt try) teams convert 44.6% of the time with a run and 41.6% with a pass.

  • nutty32

    Having a better D prob pushes MT to live in his fears & try not to get in the way of winning.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah, in the last few years I think they’ve only attempted one or two runs at most.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Take the incline up to mount Washington plenty of restaurants there. Depending where you are staying taking the clipper from station square to stadium is a neat experience.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Personally, I think you may be making too big a thing out of this. It makes sense not to attempt as many 2-point conversions because the offense isn’t really clicking yet. When your offense is stalling a bit, points come at more of a premium, so you make the safer play. If the offense gets rolling, I think we’ll see more 2-point attempts.

  • Rick McClelland

    Maybe, but by going for 4 points instead of 3, coaches are going to get greedy and greedy can be good for field position when the other team misses that field goal. Same for the 2 points. They’re going to miss some.

  • pittsburghjoe

    If you want more fan interest, I would addressing the immediate issues driving them away. I do not think scoring has anything to do with it. Concussions have changed the way the game is played and called. That probably has some impact. It has turned the league into a pillow fight. I totally understand the reason for the pillows. The social mess is another big issue that is not going away anytime soon. More ominous are the stories about high school football teams disbanding. On other levels…Why would anyone want to want a grown adult lift his leg and act like he is urinating on the field after a touchdown? I think little vulgar obscenities like that drives interest way down.