Post Touchdown Attempt: Crucial Moments After Scoring in Football

post touchdown attempt

Decisions made in the blink of an eye are crucial in football. After a team scores a touchdown, the post-touchdown try is a pivotal time that can greatly impact the game’s fate. Examining their background, tactics, and effects on the game, this article delves deeply into the intricacies of post-touchdown efforts.

Understanding the Post-Touchdown Attempt

Post-touchdown attempts, also known as conversion attempts, are the plays executed after a team scores a touchdown. These attempts can add one or two additional points to the score, making them pivotal in close games. The two primary options for a post-touchdown attempt are the Extra Point (PAT) and the Two-Point Conversion.

History and Evolution

The Extra Point, also known as the Point After Touchdown (PAT), has a storied history in football. Initially introduced to add an extra layer of excitement and strategy to the game, the PAT has evolved significantly. It started as a relatively straightforward kick from the two-yard line, but changes over the years have added complexity.

Mechanics of the Extra Point Kick

Executing a PAT involves a kicker, holder, and long snapper. The snapper delivers the ball to the holder, who positions it for the kicker to attempt a field goal. The goal is to kick the ball through the uprights of the goalpost, earning the team one extra point.

Success Rate and Statistics

Historically, PATs have had a high success rate, often exceeding 95%. However, rule changes in recent years, such as moving the kick to the 15-yard line, have introduced more challenges and slightly lowered the success rate.

Origins and Development

The two-point conversion was introduced as a way to increase the strategic depth of the game. Unlike the PAT, which involves a kick, a two-point conversion requires the team to run a play from the two-yard line, aiming to cross the goal line again.

How It Works

To attempt a two-point conversion, the offensive team lines up at the two-yard line and executes a standard play. Success means two extra points, while failure results in no additional points.

Statistical Analysis of Success Rates

The success rate for two-point conversions is significantly lower than PATs, averaging around 50%. This risk-reward dynamic adds a layer of strategic consideration for coaches.

When to Choose a PAT vs. a Two-Point Conversion

Deciding between a PAT and a two-point conversion depends on various factors, including the game’s score, time remaining, and the team’s confidence in their offensive and kicking units. Coaches often have to make quick, calculated decisions based on these variables.

Situational Analysis: Game Context and Score

In situations where a team is trailing by one or two points late in the game, a two-point conversion might be the preferred option. Conversely, early in the game or when holding a comfortable lead, a PAT is usually the safer choice.

Importance in the PAT

The kicker plays a crucial role in PATs. Their ability to perform under pressure and maintain consistency can be the difference between winning and losing a game.

Training and Skill Requirements

Kickers undergo rigorous training to perfect their technique, focusing on accuracy, distance, and mental fortitude. The unique demands of the position require specialized coaching and practice routines.

Common Plays and Formations

Teams employ various plays for two-point conversions, such as run plays, pass plays, and trick plays. Each play is designed to exploit perceived weaknesses in the defense.

Key Players and Their Roles

Key players in two-point conversions include the quarterback, running back, and primary receivers. Their roles are critical in executing the play successfully.

Strategies to Block PATs

Defensive teams develop specific strategies to block PATs, including rush techniques and timing the snap perfectly to disrupt the kicker’s rhythm.

Defensive Setups for Two-Point Conversions

For two-point conversions, defenses often employ goal-line formations and specialized personnel to counter the offensive play. Anticipating the type of play and adjusting accordingly is key to a successful stop.

Memorable PATs and Two-Point Conversions

Football history is filled with memorable post-touchdown attempts that have decided crucial games. Iconic moments, such as game-winning two-point conversions in championship games, highlight the drama and importance of these plays.

Game-Changing Instances in Football History

Several post-touchdown attempts have changed the course of games and even seasons. These moments underscore the strategic importance of these decisions.

Historical Rule Changes

Over the years, several rule changes have impacted post-touchdown attempts, from altering the distance for PATs to refining the definition of a successful conversion.

Recent Adjustments and Their Effects on the Game

Recent changes, like moving the PAT to the 15-yard line, have made post-touchdown attempts more challenging and strategic, influencing coaching decisions and game outcomes.

Analysis of PAT vs. Two-Point Conversion Trends Over Decades

Analyzing decades of data reveals trends in the success rates and popularity of PATs versus two-point conversions. These trends reflect changes in coaching strategies and rule adjustments.

Influences on Game Outcomes

Statistical trends show that successful post-touchdown attempts can significantly influence game outcomes, particularly in closely contested matches.

Insights from Prominent Coaches

Prominent coaches often share their insights on post-touchdown attempts, offering a glimpse into their decision-making processes and strategic considerations.

Decision-Making Processes

Understanding the thought process behind choosing a PAT or two-point conversion can provide valuable insights into the game’s strategic depth.

Interviews and Quotes from Players

Players often provide personal anecdotes and insights into their experiences with post-touchdown attempts, shedding light on the pressure and preparation involved.

Personal Experiences and Anecdotes

Hearing from players about memorable post-touchdown attempts adds a human element to the discussion, highlighting the emotional highs and lows of these crucial moments.

Potential Rule Changes

Looking ahead, potential rule changes could further evolve post-touchdown attempts, making them even more strategic and unpredictable.

Evolving Strategies and Innovations

As teams continue to innovate, the strategies for post-touchdown attempts will likely evolve, incorporating new plays, formations, and technologies.


A crucial part of football that combines talent, strategy, and drama are efforts made after a score. We may have a deeper understanding of the game’s strategic depth by learning the intricacies of PATs and two-point conversions. These moments, whether they are low-stakes two-point conversions or routine PATs, can make or break a game and leave an indelible impression on spectators and players.


Why are post-touchdown attempts crucial in football?

Post-touchdown attempts are crucial because they add points to the score, potentially deciding the game’s outcome, especially in close matches.

How has the success rate of PATs changed over time?

The success rate of PATs has slightly decreased due to rule changes, such as moving the kick to the 15-yard line, which made the attempt more challenging.

What factors influence a coach’s decision to go for two points?

Coaches consider the game’s score, time remaining, and their team’s offensive capabilities when deciding to go for two points.

How do teams prepare for defending two-point conversions?

Teams prepare by studying the opponent’s tendencies, practicing specific defensive formations, and employing goal-line defense strategies.

What are some famous post-touchdown attempts in football history?

Famous attempts include game-winning two-point conversions in championship games and crucial PATs that secured victory in close contests.


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