At 2-0 down with ten minutes left, you have to go for broke.
This is a structure at odds with what most learners know. Prepositions take nominals as objects, but here, what's the supposed object of the preposition?
I'm raising this question because I find this 'at' cannot fit with the rest of the sentence in a grammatical analysis. "Down" is like an adjective or adverb, and "2-4" is a measure of how 'down' a sports team is, like 'two years' in "He is two years old". But then 'at' does not fit!
I've seen such sentences as "Barcelona is 2-0 down with 10 men on the field" without "at", so I was wondering if "at" is necessary at all. If you think "at" is necessary in the original, would you also say it is necessary in "the bird is flying at 200 feet high"? This phrase parallels the first in that both involve a subject complement (high and down respectively) and a measure term of that attribute (200 feet and 2-0 respectively).
Here is another example:
He is 6 feet tall.
No preposition is needed here, so why is 'at' needed in the original?