NFL extra point experiment begins at the Hall of Fame Game

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Extra points will be a little bit harder at the start of the preseason, as the NFL is experimenting with moving the spot of the ball back for point after attempts.

Starting with Sunday night’s Hall of Fame Game and through the second week of the preseason, teams will line up at the 15-yard line when kicking extra points. (Two-point conversion attempts will remain at the 2-yard line, and extra points will move back to the 2 for the third week of the preseason and throughout the regular season.)

The NFL decided to try that after a groundswell during last season to do something — anything — to make extra points more interesting. Right now, NFL kickers make more than 99 percent of extra point attempts, making the extra point the most boring play in football. NFL owners voted down a proposal to move extra points back to the 25-yard line, but they agreed to experiment with moving them to the 15 in the preseason and reconsider the idea next offseason.

An extra point spotted at the 15 is the equivalent of a 33-yard field goal, which is still a chip shot for NFL kickers. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if every single longer extra point attempt is good this preseason. If the NFL wants to see how the game is changed by more challenging extra points, it should have moved them back to the 25, or farther.

The NFL could also consider moving two-point conversion attempts from the 2-yard line to the 1, making them easier and therefore giving coaches a greater incentive to go for two. The two-point conversion is one of the most exciting plays in football, and replacing those boring chip-shot kicks with exciting two-point conversion attempts would make the game better for the fans.

But the NFL’s owners are a conservative bunch, and they’re hesitant to make significant changes. Moving back the extra point kick by 13 yards is a very small step in the right direction, and that’s all we’re going to get this year.

73 responses to “NFL extra point experiment begins at the Hall of Fame Game

  1. No, the most boring play in football is taking a knee… Unless Greg Schiano’s coaching the losers.

  2. This potential rule change makes no sense to me. If actually adopted the inevitable will soon occur: someone will lose a game, or game will fail to go to overtime, because some kicker missed an extra point. Is that what fans want to see? Is that a fair outcome of an NFL game? No and no. It’s a bit like deciding a world cup game with penalty kick randomness after playing soccer for two hours. Fans will revolt, and the rule will be changed back. Why this is so hard for the NFL braintrust to comprehend mystifies me.

  3. There is nothing wrong with the extra point. The only thing wrong with the extra point, the only thing wrong with the NFL, is Roger Goodell.

  4. Eliminating the extra point an moving the 2-point to the 5 yard line would be more fun.

  5. Give each team 7 points for a touchdown. Then make the current 2 point conversion into a 1 point conversion, though mandatory that they have to try it. Problem solved.

    Field goals still remain 3 points.

  6. Leave it alone. Why do we feel that every single play has to be an edge of the seat nail biter. It’s like when you call customer service at the utility companies. Did things really improve once they replaced humans with those absurd automated systems?

  7. Delebar is a prophet. This can only go two ways; it will make no impact or it will be negative.
    Good business decision makers know what to do when they see a deal that has no positive expected outcome.

  8. Do you folks really want to see extra points kicked that badly? At 99+% conversion rates, it’s literally a waste of time. I think you guys are just straight up scared of change.

    Just make a TD worth 7 unless a team wants to try a two point conversion.

  9. So, teams won’t be able to fake the extra point, and go for the 2-point conversion any more since they’ll be lining up a different distances from the goal line? Part of the excitement of a 2-point conversion attempt is when you don’t see it coming.

  10. Try the rugby way; you can take the conversion (call it extra point) from however far back you want BUT it has to be in line with where the try was scored i.e. if you score on the sideline then the kick can be taken from the 1 yard line or the 40 yard line, but it has to be on the sideline.

  11. This takes away the fake extra point and run for 2, not common but now if you are lining up at the 2 or the 15 it is pretty obvious what you are going to do instead of lining up at the same spot for both.

    Also, on a much lesser note in fantasy football missed extra points in a league I play are -5, may have to adjust that.

  12. All these ideas on here…the excitement is leaving the game already. Someone already mentioned moving back the kickoffs but what I think has also really taken the excitement out are the safety rules. No one gets hit going across the middle anymore or the defender gets a penalty and fine. I never hope someone gets injured but the big hits are one thing that separated this game from other sports.

  13. I would have to disagree that the extra point is the most boring play in football.
    The non-existent kickoff return breaks my heart every time.

  14. Nothing is wrong with the extra point. Move kickoffs back to where they were and remove the stupid defenseless receiver rules.

    That will make the game more exciting again.

  15. Bill Belichick had the best idea of all: count touchdowns as 7 points and forget the extra point kick. A team would have the option to run one more play instead of kicking for an additional point if they chose.
    It would also speed up the game, something that is much needed.

  16. if you really want to make things more exciting, make the play was scored the touchdown kick the extra point. that should make things at least more interesting.

  17. Back in my day they would play an NFL season and then the next year get this….. the game would STAY THE SAME! I know crazy times. Ahhh I miss the old days.

  18. It doesn’t help that opposing defenses rarely even try to block the kick. True, not being able to go over the back puts them at a huge disadvantage, but maybe if there was a renewed effort from the defense, that 99% number would be closer to 95%. Just my opinion, but how many times have you seen the safety simply wave his hands and not even move his feet?

  19. Not that it was used much, but I guess no more fake 2-point conversions? I also think they should make 50+ or 55+ yard field goals worth 4 points.

  20. Roger Goodell is the owners puppet!! Do any of you really think he is going rogue and using all this so called power without the owners saying ok to each move?! Why do you think Irsay hasn’t faced the music yet? When has an employee fined or suspended his own boss?!

  21. To create any suspense it would have to be at the 25YL and the 2 point shot at the one. Outside of that leave it as is. Make a 60 yard + field goal 4 points. That would add another dynamic!

  22. Most fans are still cheering about the touchdown by the time the extra point is kicked. There is really no reason to change something like this. It literally takes about a minute or less. GODell needs to stop focusing on stupid things like cleat color, sock height and changes nobody really wants. Fans think the xp’s are fine, they want kickoffs back at the 30, and want GODell out.

  23. Extra points are boring and come from an era where team were amateur, today, with a 99.8% conversion rate, they should either be harder (for example, at the 20-25 yard line to make it a 37-42 yard field goal) or be replaced by 2-point conversions, especially in an era that rewards the passing game (in fact, considering that today teams average close to 5.5 yards per play, I wonder why they don’t go for it more frequently on 4th downs).

    People can argue using the Saints-Jaguars game back in 2003 where a missed PAT cost the saints a playoff chance, but no one can deny that they are a letdown that happens immediatly after the most exciting moment in football.

    Purists should be listened but not always, if so, the forward pass rule would never be created.

  24. Just give teams the 7th point for the touchdown unless they want to risk it by going for two. That solves the problem of not wanting to change the strategy of the game while also not forcing us to watch automatic extra points.

  25. The spot of the ball for the point after kick should be at the 22 (then it’s the equivalent of a 39 yard field goal – a little more challenging), and not the 15 or 25 (to make things very clear). And the NFL should allow for a drop kick for 2 points at the 2 (sort of aussie rules football).

    The decision to go for two vs just tack on one point may add a bit of drama, but it will also slow the game a bit (as the referees have to place the ball and get lined up to officiate).

  26. I’d tell the refs I’m going for 2 pts and then shift into extra point formation and kick it through the uprights … just to see what the ruling is.

  27. Nothing wrong with the extra point. Goodell has already made kickoff returns boring by making most kickoffs go through the end zone for touchbacks. How else can he ruin the game?

  28. If I were recommending rule changes…

    1) I’d move the kickup up to the 40. But… If the ball lands (not bounces) out of bounds, in, or beyond the endzone, the receiving teams starts their drive at their 40. (not the 20 for a touchback). This will encourage kickers to kick the ball high and within the field of play. Plus, since it’s so high and the area of action is compressed, the kicking team doesn’t have to run so fast and have such collisions, hopefully avoiding injury.

    2) I would remove the “automatic first down” from defensive penalties (still retained for personal fouls). Example, a defensive holding is a 5 yard foul and automatic first down. If the penalty results in a 1st down, that’s fine. But not “automatic.” How many times have we seen an offense 3rd and forever, get out of the hole by a simple D-hold call. That’s not fair.

    3) If the defender is engaged with a receiver before the ball is thrown, he can stay engaged. As long as it’s within 5 yards of LoS. This way, if a defender is good enough to jam a receiver at the line, and keep him there, so be it. Effectively taking him out of the play.

  29. Roger Goodell is the NFL version of Lucifer himself. He’s on a mission to kill the game as we know it.

  30. Easy. Leave the extra point as is but give teams the option to get 2 by kicking from the 21 (~40 yd kick) and maybe 3 pts from the 31 (~ 50 yd kick).

  31. Just leave the game alone…its popular for a reason, stop changing every little thing!

    Does the average fan care that extra points are automatic, probably not

    Would the average fan lose their mind if there team loss on a missed extra point from 40 yds out? HELL YEA. Kickers are not real football players, the NFL should try to limit their effect on the game, not increase it.

  32. VEGAS wont let it happen

    People, remember to just check and watch the spreads thruought the season and check the scores of these games. Once I noticed, it took the fun outta the sport for me personally

  33. I don’t believe the oddsmakers want this. It will redefine how they make their numbers and decades of lessons learned will become worthless.

    On second thought, move it back to the 25!

  34. stupid idea, huge BB fan but I strongly disagree here. What is so wrong with the game now that we need to make a big change? do we really want games decided on extra points instead of overtime? game doesn’t exactly lack excitement every play doesn’t need to be a sportscenter top 10.

  35. Sure! Let’s fiddle with the rules because the NFL is so unpopular now we need to change it. Smh

  36. How about you just give a team options? Something like an extra point from the 25 is a point, from the 50 could be 3 points and still have the 2 point conversion from the 2. Just give teams more options!

  37. Why does every second have to be THE MOST EXCITING, INTENSE THING EVAR!!!!

    Leave the extra points alone. Who cares if it’s automatic? It’s pandering to the “new fan” who will be gone just as quickly as they arrived.

    It’s the same mentality that will lead to football being on the air every night of the week except Friday. It guts everything that made football successful. There aren’t going to be 13-16 entertaining games per week. When they were all played on Sunday afternoon and Monday night, you HAD to get the ticket, then you had to flip channels until you found the good game. I’m sorry, there are lots of weeks when there aren’t 3 “must see games.” Not to mention, the CFL schedule with 5 days between games? Better let the teams increase their rosters by 20 players because you’re going to see way more injuries.

    No matter how you slice the changes to the game that have taken place during the Goddell era, there’s no other way you can look at it. NFL ownership has moved from being stewards of the game to men exploiting the game for their own financial benefit. Stop killing the golden goose.

  38. How about if the point fails, the defending team has the opportunity to take placement at the 25 yard line after the failed PAT or take the kickoff from the 30 yard line. Since most kickoffs are now touchbacks (yawn, making them the second most boring waste of time on the field), this gives some added incentive to make the kick successful.

    You start messing around with the rules and the game gets messd up. Moving kikoffs to the 35 yard line may result in fewer injuries but it sure makes kickoffs a dud.

    Unless it is the Superbowl and you decide to let Harvin run it back for a TD!!!!
    Go Hawks!

  39. Leave it alone. Who cares about the 99% rate. The two games I can remember of the last 20 years is where the kicker missed the guaranteed extra point to send games to OT. Plays like that ruin seasons and franchises. Stop depriving fans of these memorable moments, please.

  40. So in this format the XP becomes a 32-yard FG that is worth only 1 point. That makes no sense at all.

  41. Oh, you read our minds Goodell! Everyone I know was just about ready to stop watching football if you didn’t make the extra point more exciting… not.

  42. This is just another instance of the NFL trying to fix something that isn’t broken. We all love football just the way it is. Enough already.

  43. I like having a fairly automatic extra point and more challenging two point conversion. Adds a level of strategy to the game.

    But, with growing appeal comes dumber audiences…

  44. If you want to change a rule, go to the idea of taking kick offs out because of the danger of it. Instead do the 4th and 15 from your own 35 yard line. If you want to get the ball back, then fake a punt or put your offense out there and go for it. Otherwise I think you really need to leave the extra point alone.

  45. Could someone please tell me what happens if on this new extra point a snap is botched. You’re telling me you will only get 2 points if you go 5+X the distance as a regular 2 pt conversion? Don’t you have to move the 2 point conversion back to a comparable length as well?

  46. This will make weather and wind a factor and not always an automatic point. Could be intesting.

    I say make touchdowns 7 points instead of 6 (which some people think they are anyway, like I did growing up) and if they want an 8th point do a normal play or take a field goal-style long kick. But don’t make it a mandatory extra play. That way, if teams settle for 7 it will speed up the game a little and potentially make them higher scoring.

  47. Why does the NFL insist on changing the rules almost every year? Just leave it the way it is. It’s been working for a long time.

  48. 33 yarder might be an easy high percentage chip shot, but it’s not quite as automatic. Especially in the wind. It will change the percentages enough to have an impact on some games. That’s all they need to do.

    In bad weather you might see teams going for 2 more frequently.

  49. The league will never eliminate the extra-point play altogether. Between the commercial break before the play, the break after the play, and the break after the ensuing kickoff, that’s 4 or 5 minutes of paid commercial time they would be giving up with every touchdown. Way too much money to leave on the table.

  50. The only change to the NFL I’d like to see is for the owners to make it affordable for a middle class family to attend a game.

  51. One of the great points of strategy has always been lining up as if you were going to kick only to try and surprise the D. That is out-the-window if you have to pre-declare if you’re kicking or going for 2.

  52. Two observations:
    1) I hear a lot of talk about speeding up the games. I do not know where this came from, but if I am in the middle of watching a really good game, I do not care if it takes three hours? What is wrong with three hours of entertainment?

    2) A question for all of those suggesting there is something wrong with the current system of extra points and laying out your suggestions. Where were all of these suggestions and complaints prior to the Bill Belichick comments? Reason I ask is that I do not recall seeing those complaints anywhere prior to those comments.

  53. Love the idea of moving the extra point back, maybe not the 15 yard line, but it adds a little bit of a possibility that baby is going to go wide right. Sometimes the networks go right to commercial the minute the ball is snapped. Not anymore!

  54. If teams have the “option”to go for 2 with no consequence for not making it, of course they will try every time. Make it so if they make it, they get 2, but if they don’t score, a point is taken away.

  55. If you really want to make changes for the better, stop the farce of 20% of all games being “preseason” and charging the season ticket holder full price for them. Everyone knows it’s a total scam. Owners should be embarrassed by their greed.

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