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BWTB: Extra Point Makeover?

Posted Mar 21, 2014

Of all the rules changes being discussed by the NFL Competition Committee and debated by fans and media everywhere, the most polarizing is the extra point.


Of all the rules changes being discussed by the NFL Competition Committee and debated by fans and media everywhere, the most polarizing is the extra point.

Missing an extra point these days is only slightly more rare than Rick Smith revealing his draft plans.

So now it’s time to spice things up by, say, having the team line up at the 20 or 25 yard line for the kick. This could make the extra point as long as (yikes) 43 yards.

[Side note: when I was the announcer for the Miami Hurricanes, after a particularly exciting score over the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl, too many players celebrated in the end zone including the team’s mascot, Sebastian the Ibis. This resulted in two 15 yard penalties and a 50 yard extra point attempt which kicker Todd Sievers converted. Now, that was interesting].

The NFL might try the 20 yard line spot for preseason games to see how things go. If a team wants to go for two, then the ball could be placed at the two yard line. I’m not a big fan of different spots for the conversion tries but it does seem to make the most sense when you consider all the options.

Think about it. If they decide on the 20 yard line spot, that’s a 38 yard extra point. That’s going to make some coaches shake in their Nikes as wind or a shaky day for your kicker could factor big in the decision to go for one. The result will be encouraging teams to go for two. But, if your team, down seven, rallies for a late tie but scoring a big TD, do you really ‘deserve’ to sweat out the conversion? It really changes the game.

I think we’re headed there though. It does make things more exciting and, yes, it will cost some teams wins, put pressure on kickers and create enormous second guess situations. In other words, it’s good for the game. Remember, the NFL didn’t even adopt the two point conversion until 1994. Changes are on the way.

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