Time to give extra points the boot
Posted Jan. 07 at 02:37 PM
The NFL needs to recognize, I think, that extra points are obsolete. It’s a scoring play, but it’s also the most boring play in the game – maybe it beats the quarterback kneel down, but that’s about it.
Maybe it made sense back at the initial league meetings in 1920, when they were setting up the game and agreeing on rules. But back then, there was some challenge in knocking them through. Now it’s just too easy.
I’ve got the 2012 season totals in front of me. There were 1,235 extra points attempted, with only 6 misses. We’re not quite up to 99.9% yet, but we’re getting there.
The game would get a lot more exciting, I think, if rules were changed to get the success rate on PATs down to about 85-90 percent. It would add another layer of strategy, and everyone would then pay a lot more attention for that play.
How about changing the PAT to about 40 yards? As good as kickers are today, that’s still almost gimme range, but we’d start to see more misses sneak in. Teams went 89 percent on field goals from 30 to 39 yards last year. They converted 80 percent of field goals in the 40-to-49 yard range.
Maybe you place the ball at the 20 for such plays, meaning it would be a 37- or 38-yard kick.
This would make things harder on kickers, of course, but it would also increase the value of that position. It would become more apparent which ones were really good. It would be difficult for a kickers to go through the entire season without missing any PATs. The guys who were really accurate would become more coveted and be rewarded with better contracts.
I’m not saying the 2-point conversion would be abolished. If teams wanted to go for 2, the ball would be placed down at the 2, just like it is now. This rule change, in fact, would result in more 2-point attempts. In poor weather and field conditions, the success rate on PAT kicks might dip down to around 60 percent, making teams more inclined to attempt the 2-point try.
I see a lot of upside. More interest for fans. More strategy. More opportunities for kickers to show how good they actually are. I think it’s a change that’s long overdue.
ACCURACY ON EXTRA POINTS, 1952-2012
Year XP XPA Pct
1952 387 415 93.25%
1962 523 548 95.44%
1972 811 840 96.55%
1982 557 593 93.93%
1992 936 958 97.70%
2002 1148 1165 98.54%
2012 1229 1235 99.51%
Posted by BRUCE TAYLOR | Jan. 07 at 04:03 PM
No, change the rule to be like rugby -- where the original "touchdown" comes from. For the PAT, snap the ball from the three at the east-west point where the ball crossed the plane of the goal line.
Posted by Scott Anderson | Jan. 08 at 07:21 AM
I like the idea. Also, did you read Time Magazine's interview with Goodell? His idea for eliminating kickoffs is great too: After scoring, the team retains possession & it's 4th & 15 at their 40. They can either punt, or go for it (if they are down big.) The reasoning is it eliminates injuries since both teams would be bunched at the line as opposed to running b@lls-out at each other. Would add another level of strategy, think of the plays designed for this situaiton. Kickoffs are OK, but I like this idea better!
Posted by pete cliento | Jan. 08 at 09:13 PM
Just make the 1 pt automatic unless you want to go for 2.
Posted by ADAM HOLTZ | Jan. 09 at 07:15 PM
Move PATs to the 1 yard line instead of the 2. Getting a leap over the goal line for 2 pts would be much easier, so you'd see more 2pc attempts.
Posted by Jason Spann | Jan. 09 at 08:33 PM
My favorite idea that I've seen is to make all TDs 7 points. If you want to go for 2 and get it, you get another point. If you miss it, that's -1 point.
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