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Ravens math whiz makes his point on PAT change

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Ravens math whiz makes his point on PAT change

With the NFL moving extra-point kicks back to the 15-yard line, plenty of people have been weighing in on the impact that the longer kick will have on the game. Will the success rate of extra-point kicks -- above 99 percent for the past few years -- drop? And will that lead teams to go for a 2-point conversion more often?

Well, no one in the NFL crunches numbers better than Ravens offensive guard and resident math genius John Urschel, and he's tackled the subject over at The Players Tribune, where Urschel is the "advanced stats columnist."

Urschel postulates that the probablity of a made extra-point kick will indeed drop -- from 98.1 percent when spotted at the 2 to about 92.8 percent at its new placement of the 15.

Ultimately, using formulas to derive E, where E is the expected points on a conversion, Urschel concludes that the two-point conversion is the better play:

E(two-point conversion) = 2x.479 + 0x(1-.479) = .958 points

E(extra point) = 1x.928 + 0x(1-.928) = .928 points

"It’s simple math, right? The expected points for two-point conversions is greater, so of course all 32 NFL teams are going to do away with extra points and go for two every time, right?" Urschel asks.

Not necessarily.

"Just because the expected points of one endeavor is greater than the other, doesn’t mean it is what coaches are going to do," Urschel writes.

"Why? Because, as you might have surmised at some point, NFL coaches are risk averse. Coaches like low variation, and a difference of .03 expected points per extra point is not nearly enough to deter them from the safer choice of going with a slightly longer kick (which has variance of .07) as opposed to the much riskier two-point conversion (which has variance .25).

There may be some who embrace the new system and take advantage of this opportunity, but my guess is most won’t."

 

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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