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Colts go for 2 and fail to trail by 8, but the analytics say it was the right move

The Colts scored to cut the Bills lead to 8 with much of the fourth quarter remaining. The decision to go for two then made sense in light of the analytics around two-point conversions.

Philip Rivers #17 of the Indianapolis Colts signals during the first half of the AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on January 09, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts trail the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter of their Wild Card game to open the 2021 NFL Playoffs. The Colts trailed 24-10 after giving up a big touchdown to Stefon Diggs. Indy responded in short order with an impressive drive, moving 75 yards on 7 plays to cut the lead to 24-16.

Traditionalists say kick the extra point and turn it into a 7-point game. However, the analytics suggest otherwise. The numbers say converting a two-point conversion at least once in two tries offers worthwhile odds for the scoring team. If you trail by 8 and convert the two, you can win with a touchdown and extra point. If you trail by 8 and fail to convert the two, you still have another chance to tie.

If you want a more thorough rundown of the analytics behind going for two, check out what Chase Stuart wrote on the subject back in 2015.