Two-point conversion attempts may not have spiked throughout the NFL as some had expected. But after a rules change that moved extra-point kicks back by 15 yards, there's at least one team taking advantage of the new circumstances: The Pittsburgh Steelers.
And that has stat geeks pumped, given their insistence that two-point conversion attempts will pay off over time. According to Michael Salfino of The Wall Street Journal, an extra-point kick from the new distance will be made about 94 percent of the time, which is worth .94 points per attempt.
Two-point conversions, on the other hand, are successful 48 percent of the time -- but 51 percent if you throw out conversion attempts resulting from a muffed kick. That makes two-point conversions worth roughly 1.05 points per attempt.
For stats buffs, the math is simple. In the NFL, though, conservatism rules. That's why many teams continue to kick extra points instead of the higher-risk, higher-reward play.
But not the Steelers, who are going for two-point tries on a regular basis. Against San Francisco on Sunday, the Steelers became the first NFL team since 1998 to convert a two-pointer in the first quarter of a game.
Pittsburgh attempted two-point conversions on its first two touchdowns, in both instances by passing the football.
On the team's third touchdown, the Steelers went for the kick -- and missed. That only reinforces the idea that two-point conversions are worth the gamble, and that extra-point kicks aren't necessarily the "safe" route anymore.
Pittsburgh did lose its starting kicker to injury at the start of the season, and traded for Josh Scobee as a replacement. That personnel shift may have encouraged the team to be more aggressive in calling for two-point tries, since its kicking game is not as stable as the team had hoped.
Either way, stat heads are watching the Steelers and waiting for the rest of the league to catch on.