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Doug Marrone explains two-point conversion decision


By Mark Gaughan

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone explained his rationale for going for the two-point conversion a bit earlier than conventional wisdom suggests in Sunday's victory over the Carolina Panthers.

The Bills had scored a touchdown with 4:18 left in the third quarter to pull within 14-12. The conversion pass from EJ Manuel to Robert Woods tied the game. It proved critical, because the Bills won by a point, 24-23, on their final-seconds touchdown.

Coaches who go for two too early in the second half run the risk of "chasing the points," before it's necessary. A classic example was in the Super Bowl in 2003, when Carolina's John Fox went for two early in the second half and wound up losing to New England on a last-second field goal that would have only tied the game if he had kicked extra points in the second half. However, that was a high-scoring game.

The Bills-Carolina game Sunday was a tight affair.

Said Marrone on the decision: "The possessions and feeling how the game was going. ... At that time normally I don’t look at the two-point chart until the fourth quarter. That has been my philosophy, that’s what I’ve always done. I just had a feeling that this was the right time. I felt that we had a really good play. I felt that we were going to be able to execute it. I felt like we needed to go ahead and get the two points now and tie the game. That one’s more of a feel than it was from the strategy of what I’ve done before."

Obviously, it was the correct decision.


Doug Marrone
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

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