NFL eliminates PATs after game-winning touchdowns on final play

Getty Images

After Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs‘ remarkable catch and run for a touchdown to beat the Saints in the playoffs this year, there was a long delay before the teams reassembled on the field for an extra point try that had no bearing on the outcome of the game.

The Vikings took a knee, but no team will have to make a choice about how to handle such a situation in the future. The NFL voted to approve a rule change proposed by the Competition Committee to eliminate PATs after touchdowns that decide the outcome of games on the final play.

While such plays have no outcome on the result, they do have an impact on point spreads. The Vikings went up 29-24 on Diggs’ touchdown and an extra point would have covered the 5.5-point spread bookmakers laid out for the game.

There are also tiebreakers between teams fighting for playoff spots that involve points scored, points allowed and net points. They only come into play if the teams are tied after considering things like head-to-head records, divisional records and records against common opponents, however, and the relative rarity of plays like the Minnesota Miracle should keep that from having much impact.

27 responses to “NFL eliminates PATs after game-winning touchdowns on final play

  1. Can’t the defending team return a blocked PAT or a fumbled snap for two points? Shouldn’t this rule then only apply if the touchdown was for a lead of 2 or more points? Granted the team could kneel (as the Vikings did) – but then, why not simply get rid of ALL kneel downs (as long as the defense is out of timeouts) rather than force the team to play it out?

  2. Jason Saidoo says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:29 pm
    Can’t the defending team return a blocked PAT . . .
    —————————————-
    Good point – Denver did return a blocked extra point for a game winning TD a couple of years ago. I wonder what the clarification is on this? Good question.

  3. Jason Saidoo says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:29 pm
    Can’t the defending team return a blocked PAT or a fumbled snap for two points? Shouldn’t this rule then only apply if the touchdown was for a lead of 2 or more points? Granted the team could kneel (as the Vikings did) – but then, why not simply get rid of ALL kneel downs (as long as the defense is out of timeouts) rather than force the team to play it out?
    ——————————————-
    It would have to be a 3 point lead but I get what you mean. If it were anyone but the NFL I’d say that should be understood, but it’s them and they can’t be trusted to do anything right.

  4. The NFL needs to stop screwing with the game. They are like a bunch of old dudes with too much money and too much time on their hands, so they seem to have decided to mess with the rules of the game, because they can’t find anything else to occupy their time.

  5. dejadoh says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm
    That’s why a team takes a knee instead of kicking it.
    ——————————

    Then why make the offense take a knee at the end of a game when the defense has no timeouts?

  6. willyalistentothis says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:56 pm
    Wow! A rule that can be clearly interpreted and executed, that makes sense and does not impact the game.
    ———————————-
    Give them time, i’m sure they’ll screw it up somehow.

  7. Jason Saidoo says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm
    dejadoh says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm
    That’s why a team takes a knee instead of kicking it.
    ——————————

    Then why make the offense take a knee at the end of a game when the defense has no timeouts?

    ÷÷÷÷÷

    Because there is still time on the clock in your scenario. The game isn’t over. When a team scores with no time left on the clock, the game should be over. Not too hard to figure out.

  8. dejadoh says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm
    That’s why a team takes a knee instead of kicking it.
    —————————————————-
    If there is any chance, even if it is just.1%, that the defense can obtain the ball and score (such as a block or fumble) then they can’t get rid of the entire play as this article states is happening.

  9. As long as this applies to the TD making it a 3+ point lead, it makes perfect sense. If there is any chance of the altering the outcome of that particular game, the play should have to be made. While the team should just kneel the ball, there can be a fumbled snap or a boneheaded decision to kick it anyway.

  10. “The NFL voted to approve a rule change proposed by the Competition Committee to eliminate PATs after touchdowns that decide the outcome of games on the final play.”

    Key words are “that decide the outcome of games on the final play”, in other words, if the TD puts the team up by 3 or more points, GAME OVER. Otherwise, unless it’s overtime, PAT attempt as normal, giving the opponent the opportunity to return a block for 2-points to either tie or win the game.

  11. Vikings sure are responsible for a lot of meta game rules. There’s the Mpls Miracle Rule. There were the Mitch Berger balls. The rule about OT in playoffs was after the 2009 NFC Champ game debacle. There’s one other big one, and I can’t recall it.

  12. Jason Saidoo says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:29 pm
    Can’t the defending team return a blocked PAT or a fumbled snap for two points? Shouldn’t this rule then only apply if the touchdown was for a lead of 2 or more points? Granted the team could kneel (as the Vikings did) – but then, why not simply get rid of ALL kneel downs (as long as the defense is out of timeouts) rather than force the team to play it out?
    _________________________________________________
    That was my exact thought. Technically, the game isn’t over if a team is up by 1 or 2.

  13. Why if safety is the final say, wouldn’t they move the extra point back to the 2? It’s now a low-mid range field goal that forces more effort to block/change trajectory and encourages more 2 point plays. 2point plays are real goal line football that leads to more injuries.

  14. cabosan1978 says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm
    Jason Saidoo says:
    March 28, 2018 at 1:29 pm
    Can’t the defending team return a blocked PAT . . .
    —————————————-
    Good point – Denver did return a blocked extra point for a game winning TD a couple of years ago. I wonder what the clarification is on this? Good question.
    ————————————-
    Perhaps I’ve gotten lost among the multitude of rule changes in the past few years, if so I apologize for this question, but, when was it that you could block an extra point and return it for a touchdown?

  15. This was done for gambling. It takes away a variable that can be used to cover or not cover a point spread that would be at the will of the coach or players.

    So it makes sense to take away the power to unnecessarily alter the score, and eliminates the chance of corruption.

  16. @switchwitch59 says:
    March 28, 2018 at 3:32 pm
    ————————————
    This whole thread is hilarious. But i was incorrect. You can block an extra point and return it for a TD but you only get 2 points (not 6 as i thought).

  17. cabosan1978 says:
    March 28, 2018 at 4:01 pm
    @switchwitch59 says:
    March 28, 2018 at 3:32 pm
    ————————————
    This whole thread is hilarious. But i was incorrect. You can block an extra point and return it for a TD but you only get 2 points (not 6 as i thought).
    —————————
    That’s okay, I’ve been in and out of the country so often lately I thought I missed something. Agree about the comedy.

  18. Art of the crowd says:
    March 28, 2018 at 3:11 pm
    Im sure a few saw the headline starting out “NFL eliminates PATs” and got their hopes up.
    —————————
    LMFAO, I’m sure you’re right. I think they’ve gone into a decline since they realized they were wrong.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!