NFL extra points are currently the equivalent of a 20-yard field goal, which is an easy chip shot for any professional kicker. If the Patriots get their way, next year extra points will become the equivalent of a 43-yard field goal.
Among the rule proposals unveiled today by the Competition Committee is a suggestion by the Patriots to move the spot of extra point kicks back from the 2-yard line to the 25-yard line.
That would make field goals significantly harder. Although NFL kickers would likely make 43-yard extra points at least 90 percent of the time, that’s still a significant difference from the 99.6 percent of the time that extra points were made last season. It would also make two-point conversion attempts more tempting because under the proposal, the spot for two-point conversions would still be the 2-yard line.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has said several times that he believes extra points have become so easy that they’re all but meaningless, so it’s not surprising that it was the Patriots who proposed this new rule.
But it will be surprising if the Patriots can convince 23 other NFL teams to join them, which is what they would need to do to generate the three-fourths majority needed for a rule change to pass. NFL owners tend to be conservative about changing the game, and moving the extra point back would be a significant change. It’s more likely that this preseason, extra points will be moved back on a trial basis. Then, if the feedback from fans is positive, extra points may be moved back next year.