Preseason experiment yields two missed extra points


If the NFL wanted to see some missed extra points this preseason, then the league got what it wanted.

This year’s experiment with moving the extra point back to the 15-yard line for the first two weeks of the preseason claimed a couple of victims on Friday night. Saints kicker Shayne Graham missed a point after touchdown, as did Panthers kicker Jordan Gay.

The new rule makes extra points the equivalent of a 33-yard field goal, instead of the normal distance of 20 yards. Saints coach Sean Payton said after seeing Graham miss that he favors the idea of the NFL doing something to make extra points more challenging, although he wasn’t pleased that his own kicker wasn’t able to handle an extra point that was 13 yards longer than usual.

“Listen, the ball’s on the 15-yard line, so we’re not talking about hitting a 50-yard field goal here,” Payton said. “I’d like to think we can hit a field goal when it’s on the 15.”

Most of the time, NFL kickers have no trouble making a kick when the ball is spotted on the 15. But the new preseason rule makes the extra point a little less automatic. With some around the league saying the extra point has become pointless, it’s possible that next year, this rule will be adopted for the regular season.

42 responses to “Preseason experiment yields two missed extra points

  1. This is all well and good in concept, but when a team misses the playoffs because their kicker misses an extra point in week 17, a lot of people are going to call for it to go back the other way.

  2. I dislike this rule for one reason: whether or not you choose to do so, you should retain the opportunity to fake a PAT and try to deceptively get in the end zone for two. Now, you have to broadcast your intention.

    This doesn’t make a boring play more exciting. It’s still a boring 1-point play that now sometimes doesn’t work out.

  3. All of that offensive talent for the Saints…..yet the one position they can never seem to get right lately is kicker. Still can’t forget that image of Benson celebrating in the owner’s box thinking Hartley made a chippie to win against the Bucs, when in fact it went wide left. Classic!

  4. The biggest issue with this is that it really removes the effectiveness of fake FGs for two point conversions

  5. The extra point should not be automatic. It will make the game more exciting if less predictable. Why should the point after be so easy from 20 yard line? I full support this experimentation and welcome even longer distances being experimented with.
    I rarely say this but I support Goodell on this initiative and preseason is the time to experiment.

  6. Why doesn’t the NFL ask the fans to vote on this?
    I think @dirtmcgirt24 said it best:
    Moving it back doesn’t make the play more interesting.
    Its only going to make fans angry.

  7. I think the challenge makes a more exciting game as the extra point is a 99.9% presently. Moving it back puts more pressure on the kicker and very well could determine the game. I’m all for it.

  8. Just get rid of field goals and PATs period. Though I will admit they are full of drama, I hate when games played by men who beat the snot out of each other come down to a field goal kicker deciding the fate.

  9. The rules commitee is confusing me, they don’t think the kicking game is hard enough, while they can’t make the passing game easy enough.

  10. If they are going to change it next year to the longer extra point, they should make it so a fake at that distance is worth 3 or 4 points.

  11. Bad idea. Let it go.

    If your goal is to create more interest, NFL, why don’t you look at speed of play, particularly following scoring plays:

    1) Team scores………………..take a commercial break.
    2) Come back from commercial break…………watch a kickoff, that is typically a touchback.
    3) Take a commercial break.


  12. I agree with the second comment. Yes the PAT is boring, but a 33 yard fg is also boring and now have removed the fake kick option on the PAT. The best part about the PAT is when I am at the game, I can leave right after a td and run to the bathroom and make it back in time before play resumes. Moving the PAT back will not change that for me. I think what the fans watching on tv really don’t like is the td-commercial-kickoff-commercial combo. And we all know the league is not looking to reduce commercials.

  13. I agree – redesign the goalposts. There are several ways you could go – narrow the uprights, raise the horizontal bar, add a top bar so the kicker must hit a ‘target’ – all makes the field goals and PATs less of a sure thing while still allowing for trick plays and two point conversion attempts with the same ease/difficulty.

  14. The extra point being pushed back takes away the chance at a two-point conversion and raises the chances the kicker could miss the one point, thus rewarding the team that was scored on. It’s completely bogus.

  15. Make the goal posts move horizontally, left-right-left-right, for PATs and return PATs to two yard line.

    Hahaha, I’m just playing, but that would be pretty funny.

  16. I never found the extra point exciting, but I never thought of it as boring either. It was just an extension of the TD, which everyone was still celebrating.

    It just seems odd that the NFL is trying to make the extra point more interesting, while at the same time making the kickoff return less interesting.

    I understand the safety concerns regarding concussions, but the NFL is by and large the most popular sport in America, so it really doesn’t need a lot of tweeking.

  17. If they want to really make it more challenging – instead of moving it back – it would be more exciting and worthy of considerable thought – if they made the 2 point conversion more worthwhile by making it worth 3 points instead of 2.

    It would add a whole lot of ” what are we going to do???” And, “what will happen if” to the game!

    That said, I’d like it all to stay the same.

  18. Heres a different idea. Instead of spotting the ball at the 2.5 yard line, spot it at the 1.5 so coaches have to decide do i kick the XP worth 1 point, do i go for 2. That to me will make the xtra point more interestng.

    Moving the XP back is stupid.

  19. The NFL is bunch of clowns with these rule changes. If they don’t want extra points being a needless risk for injury, the simple solution is to run the clock during the PAT. The rule can be written that any PAT attempted with less than two minutes in a half doesn’t run the clock, but all others do.

  20. ” whether or not you choose to do so, you should retain the opportunity to fake a PAT and try to deceptively get in the end zone for two. Now, you have to broadcast your intention.”

    This is different from previously … ? When teams lined up for 1, they weren’t faking and going for 2 – just like they weren’t lining up for 2 and suddenly racing the kicker and holder into place to go for just 1.

    “The extra point being pushed back takes away the chance at a two-point conversion and raises the chances the kicker could miss the one point, thus rewarding the team that was scored on.”

    1. If you go for 2, the ball is still spotted at the 2. There’s no change in that.
    2. If you miss the PAT, the team that allowed the TD didn’t get rewarded with anything. It still coughed up 6 on the scoreboard. “Rewarding the team that was scored on” would be if the NFL adopted the college rule and let the defense run a blocked or missed PAT back for 2 points.

  21. Put the ball on the one yard line. This would encourage more teams to go for two which *would* be interesting.

    Or just leave it as is. This experiment is supremely stupid.

  22. @purplepeopleeaters:

    Totally agree. It was only a pre-season game and i was already annoyed by the amount of commercials in the Ravens-49ers game. The already greedy NFL is already alienating fans with this garbage. It wont be long before it becomes unwatchable. The NFL is closer to being unwatchable vs cant miss Tv.

  23. Lots of thoughtful comments for a change.

    Even though I’m an advocate of ‘If it aint broke….’ I don’t like PATs at all.

    As one poster said, TD is scored, then you leave to bathroom/concessions…that means its boring. 99 whatever make percentange says it all. Either get rid of it or change.

    As for the 2pt conversion, my unstanding is THAT won’t be from the 15, it stays put from the 2yd line. Likely we would see more 2pt attempts, especially in inclement weather….and you won’t be going to the bathroom when that’s occuring, lol.

  24. For people posting that it eliminates the chance of fake PAT to go for 2, lets be real here, how often does that happen? I hope the nfl changes it to a 33 yard kick, still the most mind numbing play in sports, but at least its not a 99.9% chip shot.

  25. You want to make extra points more interesting?

    Put the ball where the first two preseason games will have it – but if you make it or not, the opposing team gets the football at the 35 yard line without having a kickoff. Same for two point conversion – success or fail, ball goes to the 35 and the other team takes possession.

    Elect to go without an extra point or two point conversion – if your kicker can put the ball between the uprights on a kickoff, you get a field goal and then get the ball back. No limits of how many times you can retain the ball so long as you complete the kick through the upright on kickoffs.

    Change to punt rules – if the ball goes into the end zone the opposing team gets the ball at their 35 – this puts a premium on superb special teams play – both downfield players to catch the ball at the 1 yard line and by punters being forced to develop target kicking.

    These rules changes would decrease the kickoff injuries because of fewer opportunities and would put some effort back into punting – instead of kicking away from returners, you have to develop better kicking control and have great special teams play to contain good returners.

  26. they could leave the extra point where it is but then get teams the choice to go for to by kicking from 50 yards out or by going for the standard 2 point conversion from the 2. this would still allow teams to fake the standard extra point and get 2 points but it would also increase excitement by allowing teams to kick for the two. Keep in mind even greats like morten anderson were 50 percent from 50 and beyond. I still like it as is though. Its the exclamation point on the td. And a snack or bathroom break mixed w commercials and now a touchback

  27. brees gets it. I’ve been watching the NFL since well before they adopted the 2XP, and I can’t even remember ANY fake XPs for the 2-point conversion.

    If that’s your reason for not liking this change, it’s easily dismissable.

  28. The guy who scores the touchdown kicks the point after or the team goes for 2. This is more exciting then the current format which is boring and lacking suspense.

  29. An interesting twist last night during Jags-Bucs game after Robinson’s late TD for Jags is the Bucs had too many men penalty.. Jags elected to move the ball back to 2 from the 15 and have the penalty move ball to 1… The ended up going for 2 at that point which everyone left in the stands applauded even though it was not good, it pretty much guaranteed no overtime.

    I find the rule interesting in that it does keep the foot in football…

  30. I’m glad someone else mentioned it, but when have we ever seen a fake XP? That’s a ridiculous reason for dismissing it. I’m personally glad that they moved it back, because that makes it less automatic.

    Sure, if a K misses an extra point that costs his team a game, that’s just the way the ball bounces. There are lots of what ifs. It’s no different than a player who drops the ball on 4th down in the end zone or the defender who blows his coverage and allows a TD at the end of the game.

    I agree with Belichick that it was a non-competitive play. Therefore, it either needed to be changed or eliminated. Personally, I prefer it being changed rather than eliminated.

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