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What Is A 2 Point Conversion?

Have you ever watched a football game and seen a team attempt to score a 2-point conversion instead of settling for an extra point? This unique scoring opportunity allows a team to earn 2 points instead of just 1 after scoring a touchdown, but it’s not an easy feat.

In fact, the success rate for 2-point conversions is significantly lower than for 1-point conversions, which are attempted after a field goal and have a success rate of around 97%. So why do teams risk it all for the chance at 2 extra points? And when is the best time to attempt a 2-point conversion? Read on to learn more about the history and strategy behind the 2-point conversion in American football.

Key Takeaways

  • A 2-point conversion is a scoring opportunity in football where a team tries to score 2 points instead of 1 after scoring a touchdown.
  • The 2-point conversion was first introduced in college football in 1958 and was later adopted by the NFL in 1994.
  • The success rate for 2-point conversions is lower than the success rate for 1-point conversions, which are attempted after a field goal. The decision to attempt a 2-point conversion involves weighing the risk versus the reward and can significantly impact the outcome of the game.

When Did 2 Point Conversion Start?

The 2-point conversion started in college football in 1958. 2 years later, the AFL, or the American Football League adopted the rule which lasts until 1969. It ended due to the AFL and the NFL will be merging by that time and the rule was not immediately carried over to the “merged league”. 

However, in Canadian Football League in 1975, they used the 2-point conversion rule and made it a mandatory scoring option during overtime games for the obvious reason, which is to break the tie between the two opposing teams. 25 years after the AFL and the NFL merged, the 2-point conversion rule was adopted by the NFL in 1994. 

Who Scored The First 2 Point Conversion In The NFL?

Thomas Joseph Tupa Jr, who was also known as Tom Tupa, played 17 seasons in the NFL and scored the first 2-point conversion in NFL history. [1]

He faked the opposing team that he was going for a “1-point convert” attempt but went to scoring a 2-point conversion. He even earned the nickname “2 Point Tupa” for he scored a total of three 2-point conversions during the 1994 season. 

It was also during the 1994-1995 season when the first 2-point conversion was scored in the Superbowl in which Mark Seay of the San Diego Charger caught a pass from Stan Humphries. [2]

Although they were able to convert in a 2-point attempt, the 49ers defeated the Chargers during that game with a score of 49-26.

2 Point Conversion vs 1 Point Conversion And How It Works In Action?

Up to this present time, it is still a debate on when to use the 2-point conversion. Obviously, it has more value than scoring a point (1 point convert), it could even change the course or even the outcome of the game. The question is, it is really worth the risk? 

Several sports and football analytics shared their insights on when is the best time to go for a 2-point conversion. Laura Albert, who is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shared her idea on when is the perfect time to try to make a “2-point convert”. 

As per Albert, teams should go for a 2-point conversion if they are down by 10, 8, 3, or 2 after a successful touchdown. She also claimed that teams who are up by 1, 2, 4, or 5 should go for it in order to seal the victory. She said it is a critical decision during the course of the game because it really affects the probability of winning. After all, it really depends on the game situation, and the score of the game as it runs through the final whistle. 

What Is The 2 Point Conversion Success Rate?

Through the years, there is a massive raise in teams trying to score a “2-point convert”. Since the NFL expansion in 2002, it is evident that teams are going for 2 point conversion after scoring a successful touchdown. 

In 2017, NFL teams went into attempting 28 “2-point conversions”. After a year, teams tried to score through a “2-point convert” 47 times. Statistically speaking, the success rate of the 2-point conversion lies at around 40-55 percent. Though it is obvious that is way lower than a “1 point convert” (which is at approximately 97% success rate), it can’t change the fact that its value is higher and could help teams capture the win. 

In week 5 of the 2022 NFL season on Monday Night Football between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Las Vegas Raiders, with the Raiders down by one point with just over four minutes left, their coach – McDaniels still decided to direct his team go for 2. The play failed. Despite its failure, he might’ve made the right call. You can see the defense for this decision in detail in the video below.

Read more: What Happens When A 2 Point Conversion Gets Intercepted?

Final Words

The 2-point conversion adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement to football games. While the success rate may be lower than for 1-point conversions, the potential reward of adding two extra points to the scoreboard can be well worth the risk. As teams continue to analyze and optimize their decision-making on when to attempt a 2-point conversion, we may see this scoring opportunity become an even more prominent part of the game.

So the next time you see a team line up for a 2-point conversion, just remember that it’s not just about the points on the scoreboard, but also about the psychological and tactical advantage it can give a team in the game.


1. Tom Tupa Stats |” Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.
 2. “Stan Humphries Stats |” Accessed 2 Aug. 2020. d

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