XFL 2020: What did teams do after a touchdown with three options for extra points? Here's a look
The XFL's multi-faceted point-after attempt was a hit in the first week of play for the new league
The XFL had an intriguing first weekend in it's reboot attempt, highlighted by its new rules. While the new kickoff, the elimination of extra point attempts also added some intrigue.
In the XFL, teams have the option of going for one point from the 2-yard line, two points from the 5-yard line or three points from the 10-yard line. So, what would most teams do in that situation? The results from the first weekend are in, and the majority of teams that scored touchdowns are going for the one-point attempt.
Per ESPN Stats and Info, teams were 4 for 11 (36.4%) on one-point attempts and 3 for 8 (37.5%) on two-point attempts in Week 1. No team attempted a three-point conversion.
The XFL's extra point rule was designed to add more strategy and creativeness to the game. In the NFL this season, teams converted 92.2% of extra point attempts, which are 33-yard kicks. The real test in the NFL lies in the two-point conversion attempts from the 2-yard line.
NFL teams went 54 for 113 on two-point conversion attempts, a conversion rate of 47.8% -- a higher percentage than the XFL managed (36.4%) from the same distance in Week 1, but the sample size is much smaller for the upstart league.
The point-after attempt is clearly more challenging for the XFL, as its 7 for 19 success rate in Week 1 illustrates. It appears XFL teams started to figure out going for two is the smarter play as the games unfolded.
In the first game of the weekend between the Seattle Dragons and D.C. Defenders on Saturday, 6 of 7 extra point tries were for one point. The Saturday night game between the Los Angeles Wildcats and the Houston Roughnecks saw teams go for two on 6 of 7 attempts, as the higher conversion percentage came from the 5-yard line. The Wildcats went for two after both their touchdowns, which forced the Roughnecks to go for two the rest of the way after going for one after their first touchdown.
The New York Guardians went 2 for 3 on extra point attempts, all one-point conversions after taking an early lead they'd never relinquish. The St. Louis BattleHawks went for a one-point conversion once and a two-point conversion once, going for two when they took the early 6-3 lead late in the second quarter. Sunday's games weren't as high scoring as Saturday's games, which limited the strategy of the conversion attempts.
The extra point strategy is intriguing for the XFL and will play out based on the pace. If coaches go for two (or three) early and convert, expect the opponent to attempt the same in order to keep up.
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