I can't really start this blog without first giving my sincerest condolences to anyone that had Seattle - 6.5. That's truly a bad beat and Hubbs did a great job breaking that down in his blog earlier today. However, from a football perspective, the Eagles going for two in that situation was the correct move. Doug Pederson may or may not have been aware of the spread, but the Eagles are a team that was one of the early adopter of analytics with Pederson leading the charge. To give a brief overview - the Eagles were down by 14 points and scored a touchdown on a wild hail mary to cut the deficit to eight. Conventional wisdom states they should kick the Extra Point and with under :20 seconds go go, kick the onside kick, hope for the best and try and repeat the successful hail mary. But when Doug Pederson kept his offense on the field, veteran gamblers were enraged:
It's not to try and break gamblers hearts, in fact it's an aggressive winning mentality. The fact is the odds of converting a successful 2-point conversion is 49.4% over the last two full seasons. When they scored the touchdown to cut the lead to eight, this is the decision tree:
*The 49.4% is rounded up to 50% with the XP at 100% (when in actuality it's 94.1%), but you get the gist of what I'm trying to say. Based on these potential outcomes by going for two in that situation, the odds of winning (assuming you score another TD) in either regulation or overtime has increased to 62.5% whereas the loss odds are reduced to 37.5%. Again, this is assuming you will score another TD and not give up any further points. So Doug Pederson was playing the numbers game to try and win the game, however small of a chance that was given his putrid offense and little time remaining. The decision to go for two, which the Eagles converted led to numerous furious and shocked gamblers across the country, including our fearless leader:
I wouldn't wish that upon my worst enemy, but based on the math, Pederson made the right move for his football team.