- The Washington Times
Monday, October 19, 2020

Ron Rivera decided to go for a two-point conversion with 36 seconds left in an attempt to win the game in Washington’s 20-19 loss Sunday to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

But the Washington coach said Monday he wouldn’t have gone for it if his team had been at home and instead would have kicked the extra point.

During an online press conference, Rivera was asked about his mentality of going for two on the road compared to playing the situation differently if Washington was hosting the Giants.

Rivera admitted being on the road factored into his equation — despite MetLife Stadium having no fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were on the road,” Rivera said. “Sure, there wasn’t any fans, but to be honest with you, I didn’t even think about that. The only thing I was thinking about was just this was an opportunity for us to win. You’re going to get down at the 2-yard line. You feel good about the play you call. You feel good about the guys who are out on the field. We just scored. We had momentum. We had energy.

“So I figured that now was the chance to do something and see if we could do it. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.”

The reporter then asked a followed up: “To clarify, basically you mean, if this situation had happened at FedEx Field, fans or not, you probably would have gone for the tie as opposed to the win, right? Is that fair? Just want to make sure.”

Rivera confirmed that was the case.

“Yeah,” Rivera said. “Just looking at what the statistics tell us.”

Rivera did not specify what statistics he was referring to, but after the loss Sunday, Rivera indicated that “when you’re on the road, I believe overtime favors the home team.”

The NFL altered its overtime format for the regular season in 2012 from first score wins to a format that gives each team an opportunity have a possession — unless the team who gets the ball first scores a touchdown. If a team in overtime scores a touchdown on the opening possession, they win.

Since the NFL made the switch, there have been 125 overtime games, according to Pro Football Reference. Of those outings, the home team is 79-37-9.

In 2017, the NFL reduced overtime from 15 minutes to 10 for the regular season. After that change, there have been 42 overtime games — of which the home team is 26-12-4.

In Sunday’s 20-19 loss, Kyle Allen threw an incomplete pass on the two-point attempt.

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