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NFL Fixes Something That Isn't Broken, Changes Extra Point Rules

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NFL Fixes Something That Isn't Broken, Changes Extra Point Rules

Straight from Dean Blandino's Twitter feed. (And yes, I too wonder if he was on Jerry's bus when he sent this Tweet) 

So there we have it. After considering three separate proposals at the league meetings, NFL ownership has decided to move extra points back to the 15 so that a play that was converted 99% of the time will now be converted, um, let's say 96% of the time.  With the 2 point conversion remaining on the two yard line, the biggest change is probably allowing the defense to return interceptions and fumbles on two point tries. 

None of this was necessary. The fact that the play had become nearly automatic had not rendered it "boring" - it meant it was all the more dramatic when an extra point was missed or blocked.

I know my sometimes Sports Illustrated colleague Peter King over at The MMQB has been championing this change, much like he championed changing overtime when there was absolutely nothing wrong with that either. I simply don't understand. You know who you should be talking to Peter? NFL coaches who don't have the stones to go for two more often.

But this is now the law of the land. The change passed with a 30-2 vote with the only teams to vote against being Washington and Oakland

Meanwhile, the Calvin Johnson rule, an entry in the NFL rule book crying out for actual change, will remain largely untouched even after the Dez Bryant episode made it blindingly clear the rule is byzantine and in desperate need of change. 

These are the stewards of our game, folks. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (27) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

I'm generally a King fan (though I do find his self-proclaimed coffee nerdom laughable when he swears by Starbucks lattes...but I digress), but his incessant harping on the PAT rule change was really over the top.

Samson's picture

Right or wrong, it's silly to think that somehow there's a correlation between the PAT rules & any Calvin Johnson rule.

Typical straw man argument by Nagler.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Wut? I don't think the author used a straw man argument. The author made his case against changing the rules on PATs (instead of a 99+% success rate, it will be successful 96% of the time). He did not suggest that changing the Calvin Johnson rule had any connection to whether the PAT should be changed. Look up the definition of straw man argument and try again:

PackerAaron's picture

Thanks Reynoldo.

Nick Perry's picture

What the heck is wrong with you?? Aaron couldn't have been any clearer in his opinions of EACH rule, seems the only "correlation" was in your mind. You should actually thank Aaron each time you're allowed to post on this site. Every comment you make shows your dislike of the Packers, TT, MM, and now Aaron? Personally I'd rather have Stroh/DannyDS and his insults back, at least he understood football. You just seem to understand negativity.

PackerAaron's picture

Spot on Nick.

The wonder of it all is that he clearly hates me yet continues to read everything I write. I guess I'm flattered.

Samson's picture

Don't flatter yourself. --- I read very little of what you write. --- You've always had that ability to play both sides of the fence. (hey , a compliment!!) ---- You always have yourself covered by simply playing with words. --- And when someone questions your analysis, you simply ban them. ----- Nice.

Nick Perry's picture

Amazing isn't it? Well there's plenty of us that truly appreciate what you do for Cheesehead TV Aaron, thank you!

The TKstinator's picture

Do you walk to school or do you carry your lunch?

Allan Murphy's picture

Why not tare field goal post down and go for 2 every time geeeeeeeeeeeessss !

The TKstinator's picture

Ok, so the tin man wanted a heart, and the straw man wanted a brain?

Beep's picture

Couldn't disagree more that the PAT shouldn't experiment with a change.
With the modern kickers consistently hitting 50 yarders, a 19-20 yard PAT was way too easy. And as Peter King laid out, from when a touchdown is scored and a meaningless PAT then a touchback to when the opponent breaks a huddle on offense, its almost 5 minutes of wasted time, understanding that the NFL gets 4 minutes of advertising in. Waiting for that 1 in 250 chance for a PAT miss, they might as well just make a TD 7 points and go to the kick off.
I'm guessing everyone that hates this new PAT also hates the DH in baseball and the 3 point line in basketball too?

zeke's picture

I do hate the DH. I don't mind changing the PAT, but the DH is a blight on humanity. That can't be said enough.

Evan's picture

I don't "hate" the new PAT rule, just think it's unnecessary. And I'm pro-DH.

RCPackerFan's picture

I agree Aaron. I just don't get why they had to change the extra point. To me there was nothing wrong with it.

The only part about the rule that I do like though is now the defense can score if they pick it off or whatever. To me that makes sense.

For me I would prefer to change some other things about the game then worry about the PAT.

How about adding camera's to the goal line?
How about changing the review system?

There are a lot more other issues I would much rather see changed.

Evan's picture

Agreed. I do like allowing the defense to return XP/2 pt for points. Moving it back just strikes me as unnecessary tinkering. The extra point is bathroom break time. I'm fine with that.

Cheesestradamus's picture

Being proactive is refreshing. To many sports are reluctant to change or indifferent to change. The PAT's were boring and players were hurt (half playing) for a play that was 99.6% successful. Injecting more options and slightly lowering the success rate is a start.

Remember that the 2 point conversion was new just a few years ago (for me) and people pissed and moaned about that (whats wrong with the way is now ) group.

PAT's were only 64.4 percent successful not that many years ago. They then added players that just kicked for a living rather than assigning a halfback or fullback to do the kicking. Coaches squawked because they wasted room on the roster for a guy who just`kicked`? But `sidewinder` kickers with 10 extra yards per kick and better accuracy converted the coaches in no time.

Keep the game fluid and changeable like society. If you voluntarily tweak it now and then? Maybe you won't have to be forced to make big changes later on?

PackerAaron's picture

Really good stuff here.

You make some very good points and I'd probably be more amiable to it if the NFL didn't seem to be in a constant state of adjusting their rules. It's become an annual tradition with this league, the Competition Committee suggesting rule changes nearly every summer.

As you've probably guessed, I'm mostly just a curmudgeon. ;)

egbertsouse's picture

I'm old school. I hate the 2 point conversion. It's a mechanism for inferior teams to get back in games they should lose. Eliminate the extra point and make touchdowns 7 points. Problem solved. I also hate overtime except in playoffs. Let teams tie, the world won't end.

The NFL should fix real problems like the stupid pass interference penalties that decide important games and are called differently by every officiating crew and for every team.

sonomaca's picture

I like the change. We were getting to a point where maybe 15 or more plays a game were a foregone conclusion: the 7 or 8 extra points and the 7 or 8 kickoffs through the end zone.

The 15 yard extra point try introduces just a bit more doubt about the outcome, especially in cold weather.

Evan's picture

If they're all about changing plays that are too easy, next they'll ban the Packers play-action roll out bomb to Jordy play.

EddieLee's picture

I don't have an issue with the NFL changing the rule if they want to encourage teams to try for two more often. But, they changed it in an ineffective way. Extra points are going to made 96.5% of time instead of 99% of the time. The calculation for coaches will be almost identical as it was before. Extra points will still be almost guaranteed and two point conversions will still be a 50/50 proposition.The chart stays the same. The cynic in me wonders if they didn't pass this meaningless rule change to get fans to stop talking about deflated footballs.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I can't find what the success rate on 32 yard field goals would be. Using the FG stats for the top 31 field goal kickers last year (the database I used must not have included some kickers who were injured or cut):

10 - 19 yards 100% 10 of 10
20 - 29 yards: 97.42% 227 of 233
30 - 39 yards: 90.47% 266 of 294

I'd guess that 32 yarders will be made at a % much closer to the 97 mark than the 90% mark. 95 or 96% strikes me as a good estimate. The only impact I foresee is that I might sometimes stay to watch important PATs if there is a 5% chance of a miss.

EddieLee's picture

"In 2014, NFL kickers made 34 of 35 field goals (97.1%) when the line of scrimmage was the 15-yard line."

Plus, the ball will be centered between the hash marks and there will be no play clock.

The extra point will still be viewed by coaches as mostly automatic and the two point conversion will still be about 50% success rate. Status quo...unless you have a terrible kicker (see Detroit last year) or weather is extremely bad.

barutanseijin's picture

What bugs me about the extra point and 2pt attempts isn't changed at all. As it is now, a guy scores a TD. You'll hear the fans roar, see a crowd shot and maybe a Lambeau Leap, then the broadcast will cut to commercials. A few ads run, then there's the kick or the 2pt conversion attempt. Then more ads. Then a kickoff. Then more ads.

If you watch some old broadcasts on youtube, it wasn't always this way.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

Guess there'll be no more fakes on the PAT. Definitely takes out the element of surprise.

The TKstinator's picture

I wonder how the Patriots will mess with this.

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