- Bill Feig/AP
The Oakland Raiders beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, 35-34, in a wild game that came down to a gutsy two-point conversion by Oakland.
Trailing 34-27 with under a minute left in the 4th quarter, the Raiders found the back of the end zone on a Derek Carr pass to Seth Roberts. It seemed like the obvious choice would be to kick the PAT, tie the game at 34, and hope to hold on for overtime.
Instead, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio made the choice to go for two. Either they would take the lead, or lose the game.
On the play, Carr found Michael Crabtree with a perfect throw:
Despite the risky decision to go for two, the Raiders still needed a little help to actually win the game. With just 40 seconds on the clock, Drew Brees marched the Saints down the field and to set up a 61-yard field goal attempt. Saints kicker Will Lutz missed it, and the Raiders won.
Given how easily the Saints marched down the field following the two-point conversion, you understood why Del Rio opted to go for two. The Oakland defense was abysmal throughout the game, and kicking the PAT to tie the game would have either still resulted in a made field goal for New Orleans, or a high chance of a loss in OT.
Of course, it’s one of those risky play calls in the NFL that is celebrated when it works, and lambasted when it doesn’t. On Sunday, the gamble paid off.