Steelers convert first two-point conversion in first quarter since '98

ByKevin Seifert ESPN logo
Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off a rarity Sunday afternoon: They converted the NFL's first two-point conversion in the first quarter of a game in 17 years.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin opted against sending kicker Josh Scobee out for an extra point after Ben Roethlisberger's 2-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller. Instead, the Steelers' offense remained on the field. Roethlisberger's conversion throw to receiver Antonio Brown gave the Steelers an 8-0 lead.

Tomlin did the same after a second-quarter touchdown for a 16-3 lead. On the Steelers' third touchdown of the day, however, Tomlin opted to kick the PAT. Scobee, however, missed, hitting the left upright.

Scobee made his next attempt after the Steelers' fourth TD, just inside the left upright.

The Steelers defeated the 49ers 43-18.

There was an offseason rule change that moved extra-point attempts from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line. Place-kickers missed four extra points in Week 1, half the total missed in the entire 2014 regular season. The increased difficulty has sparked speculation that coaches might turn more frequently to the two-point conversion, a tool usually reserved for the fourth quarter.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the NFL's last two-point conversion in the first quarter came on Oct. 4, 1998, when the Indianapolis Colts faked an extra point. The last "traditional" two-point conversion in the first quarter was scored by the Denver Broncos' Terrell Davis on Sept. 28, 1997.

Scobee had a rough debut in the Steelers' Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh's Heinz Field is one of the more difficult places in the league to kick.