NFL will test longer extra points for two weeks in the preseason


The NFL’s owners have voted down a proposal to move the spot of the ball on extra points to the 25-yard line. But in a sign that the league is moving in the direction of making extra points more difficult, it will experiment with longer kicks in the preseason.

In Week One and Week Two of this year’s preseason, the ball will be spotted at the 20-yard line for extra point kicks. That makes them the equivalent of a 38-yard field goal — still fairly easy for an NFL kicker, but more difficult than the 20-yard distance for extra points under regular-season rules.

Although the league is probably never going to experiment with any of the wackier extra point proposals like making the player who scored the touchdown kick the extra point, there does seem to be a bit of momentum for changing extra points to make them slightly more challenging — and therefore slightly more interesting for fans.

Right now, extra points are good more than 99 percent of the time, and they usually function as nothing more than an extended bathroom break for fans. The preseason experiment is one step toward making extra points worth watching.

39 responses to “NFL will test longer extra points for two weeks in the preseason

  1. That’s good but I think if you go for two, the ball is still placed on the two-yard line. A solution could be if you want to try the extra point from the two, the ball has to be drop-kicked (something that has been done once in the past 50 years). If the option is from a holder, then the ball has to be at the 25.

  2. And just how will the 2 point conversion work. Leave it as is? I would think that a lot more teams would go for 2 point conversion if you have to kick a 38 yd for 1 pt.

  3. I really wish that they would either leave this issue alone all together or change it in a way that resembles football. If they are dead set on changing the extra point, they should just make teams go for 2 after every TD. However, placing the ball on the 2 if they want to go for 2, but then placing the ball on the 20 if they want to go for 1 just doesn’t sound like football. Kind of like the overtime rules that take 2 minutes to explain. Keep it simple and just have them play an extra 10 or 15 minute quarter.

  4. Won’t the additional time it takes for the ball to go through contribute to a delay of game?

    /sarcasm; tinged with a touch of sadness

  5. Why not let the team kicking the extra point choose the spot and then alter the point value based on the spot.

    If it is from 40 yards it is worth 01 point, 45 yards 02 points, 50 yards 03 points.

    It would then make it a more exciting play and a team down by 09 who scores late could still tie the game.

  6. Put the ball at the 5-yard line for PAT. Raise the uprights. Move the hash marks back toward the sideline to make field goals more difficult. Make the drop-kick PAT worth 2 points. However, the PAT should be marked at the same yard line so that the fake for two is an option.

  7. They should go back to drop kicking the extra points… like a punt from the 10 yard line.

  8. Just wait until one someone loses a playoff game because their kicker missed a 38 yard extra point.

    I would be livid.

  9. I still don’t understand the aversion to narrowing the goal posts. This would make both extra points and field goals more difficult, and certainly reduce the record success rates of both. It might also encourage more coaches to go-for-it instead of kicking 50+ yard FG. Why not just split the difference between the current width and the AFL width, or at least experiment with it in some preseason games?

  10. This is one rule change I can live with, I don’t even watch pats unless the team goes for two. I use that time to prepare for the commercials and do other stuff like going to the kitchen or bathroom

  11. Bad decision opening up the entire yard line is a better way to go not adding distance. The extreme angles that rugby rules would supply would make a much more interesting play than just adding a little distance that most NFL kickers still wont miss

  12. blantoncollier says:
    Mar 26, 2014 11:00 AM
    One thing not being discussed is the fake. Moving the line of scrimmage back eliminates any possibility for a fake.


    I don’t feel like looking it up but I’d bet you could count the amount of fake field goals attempted over the last 5 years on one hand. I’m talking about called fakes, not bad snaps attempts.

  13. Interesting part here is most coaches would probably start going for 2 as soon as the kicker misses a PAT
    Fake field goals are always a fluke play

  14. Seriously, a bunch of Nancy’s in here crying about rule changes. I for one am in favor of making the extra point tougher than what it is now. Kickers are paid to make kicks, and the current extra point is way to easy and boring to watch. Come on people, just deal with it – I seriously tire of the incessant whining about rule changes. Try worrying about something worth worrying about, like say, crazy Putin taking over Eastern Europe or something truly terrifying and worth worrying about!

  15. “Who wants to see a team lose 21-20 because their idiot kicker missed a 38 yard extra point”

    Who wants to see their team lose 21-20 because the other team’s idiot kicker only has to kick a 20 yard extra point?

    Just sayin…

  16. Want tro change the extra point and make it a real play?

    Award the Defensive team for blocking and returning an extra point.

    Currently it is a play off for the D. There is rarely any effort put forth on the play.

    I also would like a returned int or fumble on a 2 pt atp count as 2 pts for the D.

    Roger you can send me a check if you wish

  17. It’s going to screw up all the betting and betting lines. Not that the NFL cares, but it’ll be interesting to see (if ever implemented) how that changes the Billion dollar betting industry.

  18. I like the idea of sorta borrowing from rugby…leaving the PAT at the 2 but forcing the kick from the same plane as where the ball crossed the goal line.

    It’s not totally like rugby where it’s the same plane as where the “touch-down” happens but it’s the same idea.

  19. Let’s have the extra point be associated with the draft order. If you drafted first you get 32 points for the kick. If last, you get 1 point, everyone else is in between. And, before the game starts the two teams could trade up or down for point changes depending on their kicker’s shoe size. If kicker A wears a size 12, and…well you get the idea. Boy, no bathroom breaks for me….

  20. Lots of interesting proposals on here; most people on here have probably given it more intelligent thought than the committee. But Occam’s Razor states that the simplest solution is usually the best. Just make every team go for 2. It would add major excitement to the game as opposed to suffering through the most boring 99.9% certain play in football. Moving the PAT back makes it a weird field goal situation that makes the idiot kickers even more important to the outcome of games and I don’t think any NFL player of true NFL fan wants that.

  21. Let the team kicking the xp decide if they want the long or short kick, but if they take the short xp kick the other team starts their subsequent possession from their 35 yard line (without a kickoff). Taking the long xp kick would be followed by a normal kickoff.

  22. Move it back to the 25 and have the people who think of these things lay on the field and hold the ball on the tip of their noses for the kicker. Now you’ve got a game. Who Dat!

  23. Let’s not marginalize the kicker in a game called FOOTball any more than we already have, please.

    So many of these ideas make the 2 point conversion attempt more likely, and while I like that the NFL finally adopted it from the college game many years ago, I don’t want it to become so difficult to kick PATs that the 2 pt becomes the norm.

    There needs to be some counterbalance that makes both the 1 pt and 2 pt slightly more difficult than they currently are, and too… importantly for the 2 pt conversion… keeping the run and the pass both as nearly-equal viable options.

    ***For the 1 pt***

    DISTANCE is *not* the variable to be messing with, imo. I prefer messing with variables that reward ACCURACY.

    Sooooo…. I like either or both of these ideas I’ve read recently:

    (1) Spotting PATs to be on a line with where the TD play was snapped (ie, if scored from the right hashmark, then so would be the extra point conversion).

    (2) Constricting the width of successful PATs with a new-era dual-prong goal post… we might argue whether 12 feet is the right width, but I like it in principle. I agree, who cares, if it looks different than we’ve been used to seeing for a few decades, as long as it is functional and serves its purpose, that’s all I care about.

    I like the history of the game. And I like it that there is at least one role that doesn’t require a certain body frame to be part of the team. I want to keep seeing PATs routinely attempted, just slightly less routinely made.

    And… I like it that, when Tony Romo and his ilk bobbles a snap, he at least has a chance to run or pass the ball over the goal line. I like it that there’s always a chance that a team could fake the PAT.

    I don’t like all of this tinkering with distance when, in fact, we can tinker with angles and/or width of goal posts–the accuracy factors–and end up with the results desired that way.

    So, if we’re adding to the 1 pt difficulty, what about that counterbalance thing? Here you go…

    ***For the 2 pt***

    It’s all about line of scrimmage placement, and as opposed to having a static line, it works this way…

    – 1 YARD LINE: If touchdown scored on any down that is NOT a goal-to-go down

    – 2 YARD LINE: If touchdown is scored on 1st-and-goal

    – 3 YARD LINE: If touchdown is scored on 2nd-and-goal

    – 4 YARD LINE: If touchdown is scored on 3rd-and-goal

    – 5 YARD LINE: If touchdown is scored on 4th-and-goal

    Reward the defense for making plays in goal-to-go situations, which in turn, adds to the drama for offenses to score.

    Okay, you can say “it’ll never happen,” and you’re probably right… no, you’re almost certainly right. But even so, you have to admit there’s some good thinking that’s went into these ideas–especially that 2 pt one since it is my own. 😀

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