Talk increases of moving extra points to the 1-yard line

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There’s increasing talk at the league meetings this week that the NFL may be ready for a significant rules change that would make two-point conversion attempts much more common.

The change is simple: Move extra points from the 2-yard line to the 1-yard line. That wouldn’t have any noticeable change on the success rate of extra point kicks (the difference to an NFL kicker between essentially a 19-yard field goal and a 20-yard field goal is nothing), but it would significantly change how often coaches go for two. From the 2-yard line, where extra points have been since 1994, two-point conversions are successful slightly less than half the time. But from the 1-yard line, two-point conversions would likely be successful more than half the time. That means that most of the time, going for two would have a better expected payoff than kicking the extra point.

There’s not currently a specific rules proposal regarding moving extra points to the 1-yard line, but Sal Paolantonio reported on SportsCenter this morning that there’s an undercurrent of movement toward making the change. And NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told Peter King in today’s Monday Morning Quarterback that there’s a chance of such a change.

It’s unclear, however, how enthusiastic the owners are about making such a change. The league might experiment with having all extra points at the 1-yard line for the preseason, just to see how big a difference it makes. Then, if owners, coaches, players and fans like it, the move could be made for the regular season in 2016.

One thing is clear: The league wants to find a way to make the extra point a more interesting play. Right now, it’s the most boring scoring play in sports.

110 responses to “Talk increases of moving extra points to the 1-yard line

  1. ….which would only strengthen the argument for drafting your fantasy football kicker in the last round

  2. I like moving the extra point back if you are kicking it. Make it a 35 yard kick instead of a 20 yard. Leave the two point conversion at the two yard line. Dan Marino could sneak it in from 1 yard out…

  3. Come on, people… Think of all those poor bookies around the country that would be affected by such a drastic change in how points are scored. oh the humanity…

  4. Moving the extra point to the 1 is the easiest and simplest approach but most coaches are so conservative that they would still kick for one unless they were behind and had to take the risk.

  5. IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EXCITING! It’s part of the game, just like free throws are a part of basketball. Too much excitement will get old REALLY fast.

  6. You’re right, the extra point play is pretty boring, but the most boring play in sports? I’d have to throw my vote to the intentional walk in baseball. Now THAT is one boring waste of time!

  7. Coaches still won’t go for it, the only guy who would even consider it are the likes of Fisher, Belicheat, Caroll, etc. Guys who are firmly in their jobs. Everyone else? Not a chance. Not when your million dollar head coaching contract is on the line.

  8. The NFL will continue to find ways to keep people interested, so they can rake in more cash. Maybe when UNICEF gets into the professional sports business, they’ll keep every rule the same each year.

  9. Ugh. Please stop tinkering with the game. It’s not an annual edition of Madden for Xbox!

    LEAVE IT AS IT IS!!!

  10. “If. It. Aint. Broke. Don’t. Fix. It.”

    that’s the point. It’s broke. Most boring play in sports. Fix it.

    Here’s a fix. Line up Goodell so that the kicker will kick him in the crotch after every TD. Roshambo style.
    Since that’s what Goodell seems to be doing to NFL fans at every possible turn.

  11. I like keeping the 2-pt conversion at 2 yards.

    I think the better solution is to make the 1-pt conversion a 35 yard attempt, not a 19 or 20 yard one.

    That way, neither option is a gimme.

  12. The most exciting play I ever saw was when Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary on a 2-point conversion attempt and some dude named Ha Ha just stood there and watched it be completed in front of him.

  13. Personally I don’t think there is a problem with the scoring at all. Maybe remove the XP play and just give them a point if boredom is your problem.

  14. OK..tell me if I’m wrong here. The league is supposed to be worried about player health, right? Then answer me this: Which is more hazardous to a player’s health?
    a) an extra point kick?
    b) both sides lining up their biggest and bulkiest guys for maximum collision to move the ball 3 feet or stop the ball from moving 3 feet?

  15. This change wil minimize the current error on every coach’s 2-pt conversion chart:

    No matter when in the game, when a TD puts the team up by 7, every chart says to line up to kick the extra point to go up by 8. They need to change this – when 5 minutes or less in he game – go for 2!

    The difference in being up by 2 scores vs 8 points is significant in the odds of winning the game. And there is no down side to going for 2, as even if you don’t make it, the team that’s now down 7 will kick the extra point to tie the game if they get the TD. And since the odds are better than 50% on making the 2pt conversion, it’s a no-brainer. Think about it.

    When this fix catches on, I want credit.

  16. Most boring play in sports is probably when a golfer backs away from the ball to re-evaluate his approach.

    Or a pitcher simply holding onto the ball to hold a runner at first.

    Point is they are boring, but both very necessary to the game.

  17. Dumb.

    Games should be decided by touchdowns, not by what happens or doesn’t happen after one is scored. Keep the TD the focus of the play.

  18. What is makes fans most uninterested is that there is a commercial break immediately following the Extra point. And then once back from break, the kickoff sails 10 yards out of the endzone, at which point there is another commercial break.

    So in roughly 7 minutes real time, they’re have been only two plays and both were kicks that went out of the endzone.

  19. @ravenbiker

    Which is more hazardous to a player’s health?
    a) an extra point kick?
    b) both sides lining up their biggest and bulkiest guys for maximum collision to move the ball 3 feet or stop the ball from moving 3 feet?

    ————–

    Gronkowski’s answer is B)

  20. This actually makes a lot more sense than moving the extra point back to the 15 yard line, which would likely just make a 99% outcome happen 98% of the time.

    More 2-pt conversions would certainly alter the flow/score of the game, but it would definitely add more intrigue after each touchdown. And if that’s what the league is after this could be the perfect solution.

  21. I like the idea of keeping the 2 point conversion at the 2 yard line, but moving the kick back. It’s more of a decision then.

    But ideally they should just leave it alone.

    The owners need to stop playing with the rule book. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to keep picking at it.

  22. Hey, extra points are my favorite part of the game. I have an elaborate spreadsheet going back to the early 1900s recording nearly every PAT, along with score, weather conditions, kicker, holder, and a fun little column I like to call “extra trivia.” I mean, isn’t the game big enough for all of us to enjoy all the different… you know what, forget it, just forget it!

    *runs away crying*

  23. If you want to make the extra point more exciting, move the line of scrimmage to the five-yard-line. That’s where the CFL set’s the scrimmage line and it seems to work for them. Also, if you want to make field goals and extra points more challenging, push the hash marks back toward the sidelines. In addition, give the defense the option to tell the referee where they want the ball marked on the two-yard-line within the hash marks on extra points.

  24. jetsfmleveryday says: Mar 23, 2015 12:43 PM
    If. It. Aint. Broke. Don’t. Fix. It.
    **********************
    Apparently.you.miss.the.point.and.you.can’t.punctuate.either.
    Many in the game DO think it’s “broke”.. in that it is entirely predictable, and boring. So, the point is, why bother at all? If the extra point is made 99.999999% of the time, then just eliminate it, or make the Touchdown 7 points.

    So you see son… they are trying to “fix” that aspect.

    Regardless of whether or not YOU and I agree it is “broken” or not.

  25. I think that they should keep it placed at the two years line, but implement a rule regulating the distance behind the line it can be placed behind the line. If I’m not mistaken, the hold typically places it at the 9 yard line, or seven yards behind the line. I suggest that they make the max distance behind the line scrimmage it could be placed at 4 yards (or thereabouts). This will challenge the kicker to get the ball over the huge D and O linemen. This should certainly result in more drama. More blocks when kicking, and more 2-pt tries due to the increased challenge in making a successful try. To top it off, allow the D to return blocks for 2 points if it is blocked.

  26. Make a TD worth 7 and leave the ball at the 2 if a team wants to go for two.

    Do not move the LOS back on extra points, the play itself is still boring and a team could lose a game easier because of a missed kick. Do you prefer the players on offense and defense decide a game or the kickers?

  27. Quit monkeying with the game.

    Do we see MLB talk about moving the pitcher’s mound back further to make it easier for hitters, to increase scoring? Will MLB considering decreasing or increasing the balls and strike counts for 4/3 to 3/3 or 3/2 because the games take too long? Has MLB ever considered increasing or decreasing the space between the bases to make the game more interesting? No. Because the people running baseball understand that these are part of the rules of the game, and you don’t monkey with those rules.

    The NFL would do well to learn the same lesson.

  28. I agree with spook1320 on this one… (see copy and paste below)

    I like it that when the snap is bad, or if a team desires to fake the PAT, the two-point conversion is just as in-play as ever.

    I don’t like us messing with distance for that reason.

    That leaves us with two other options, both of which are entirely reasonable to modify, in my opinion.

    1. Angle (as stated above) and/or
    2. Width of goal posts

    So, (1) the PAT simply would be attempted from the spot on the field from where the TD play was originally snapped.

    Then, (2) bearing in-mind that the goal posts already have went through some aesthetic changes through the years, someone has suggested a new era set of posts that are dual-pronged.

    The current 18-ft width would remain applicable for FGs, but then an inner set of new posts would extend at a 12-ft width, specifically for PATs.

    I’d like to see both, personally, but even just one of the two would be an improvement.

  29. Goodell is so out of touch. PATs aren’t about excitement. They’re about punctuation. They’re about signifying momentum shifts. They’re about breaks that let fans and players revel in the TD. There’s more to football than just excitement evey second. Why not eliminate kneel downs when the defense is mathematically prevented from getting the ball back? Those plays are boring. It’s called punctuation. Mind games. Mental.

  30. You dummies don’t understand… the fact that the kick for 1 point is basically automatic makes it a real gamble to go for the 2 pt conversion that is only successful less that half the time….

    If the kick was a big a gamble as the 2 pt conversion there would be NO GAMBLE in going for 2

    leave it the hell alone

  31. You really want excitement? Move back the kickoffs back to where they originally were to allow return man to make highlight plays!

    How is the NFL going to operate in double standards by claiming they’re after the player’s safety, than continue to make non-sense extra point adjustments for the sake of ‘boredom’?!

    The only safe alternative is if the football sails through the uprights on a kickoff/punt after safety, that kicking team should be awarded additional points! That way any penalties on a scoring play actually mean something.

  32. One rule change I’ve always advocated would be to make the conversion a ‘live’ ball:

    If the Defense blocks the kick and run it all the way back the D gets one point.

    If the Defense interecepts or recovers a fumble on a 2pt conversion attempt and run it all the way back the D gets two points.

  33. IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EXCITING! It’s part of the game, just like free throws are a part of basketball. Too much excitement will get old REALLY fast.
    ————
    I’m not sure what is going on here. Sarcasm I hope. But most of you liked the idea of more boring plays over excitement.

    Anyway, leave the ball at the 2 yard line, but make the 2 point conversion mandatory.

  34. fwippel says:
    Mar 23, 2015 1:35 PM
    Quit monkeying with the game.

    Do we see MLB talk about moving the pitcher’s mound back further to make it easier for hitters, to increase scoring
    ———
    MLB lowered the mound to make it easier for hitters and to increase offense. It was done quite a while ago. So everything you said is moot.

  35. “that’s the point. It’s broke. Most boring play in sports. Fix it.”

    The QB/C exchange is pretty boring and most of the time goes according to plan, lets add some “excitement” to that! I recommend we start greasing up the football…

    Every second of every game doesn’t need to be wall to wall entertainment.

  36. We still playing these games in the USA? All these silly gimmicks are sad and unamerican. Leave the game alone, work on what needs to be fixed like biased refs and the replay crap.

  37. It sounds OK but 2016 is not enough time to study it. No need for another knee-jerk reaction from Goodell. Take your time, NFL.

  38. This American fotball we are talking about, correct? How far back does the TD and extra point being worth 7 points go? Now we essentially want to make that worth 8 points and forgo tradition? Yes I understand we brought the 2pt conversion into play, but it is a “coin flip” and an element of risk vice reward makes the decision intriguing. Besides, how does that fit into the NFLs narrative of lessening the risk of injuries?

  39. Ignore officials judgement calls that seem to depend solely on how cranky the ref is or whether or not he wants more time to stick his face on TV…..check

    Monkey around with something nobody cares about changing and only seeming to annoy and anger the cans….check

    This is the type of logic that’d have someone die in their burning building because instead of getting out, they couldn’t decide which robe to wear.

  40. ..You want to make the extra point more exciting? Let the kicker line up AT THE 50, with just his holder….and try a extra point like a free kick. It’s a kick with NO pressure from lineman & it shows off the kickers leg strenght. Most kickers make 60 yard kicks when practicing before the game starts.

  41. I wonder if more players get inured on plays going for 2 points, or on 1 point kicks.

    Of course the NFL is more interested in player safety, so you know that will decide it.

  42. I said this last year. If you move it to the one yard line then move the ball 5 yards outside the hash marks. That makes the angle on the extra point kick more severe effectively making the goal posts narrower (due to the angle). Then you have a 2 pt opportunity and it makes the extra point more difficult at that angle as well.

  43. How about a bylaws change that makes rules changes only possible every five years: a. when voted upon by a quorum of owners certified by a reputable neurologist not to be suffering from any form of alzheimers, demenia or mental impairment, b. limited to five changes per five years.

  44. Teams with good OLines and RBs would benefit from this; along with teams with good run stopping front 7s.

    That being said, there’s little point in changing it besides for excitement/money reasons. The playoff overtime rules on the other hand are unbalanced and need to change before the extra point rules do.

  45. I say keep the XP a formality. Anything to get us to the beer and Lexus commercials faster.

  46. Eliminate kicking entirely. Give extra points for long pass plays like fantasy football. In fact, just change the scoring rules to mimic that of fantasy football. The National Armball League! I like it!!!!!

  47. Moving the 2pt success rate over 50% is basically the same as eliminating the extra point. Going for 2 becomes the default tactic except in situations late in the game where you must have that one point.

  48. Goodell obviously underappreciates the defensive side of the game, constantly working to make it easier for offenses to drive up the score. Give it a rest already!!

  49. I think they’ll find that the success rate from the one is the same as it is from the two. A short yardage play either pops or it doesn’t.

  50. The quantitative data guys will say always go for two if from the one yard line. SportingCharts.com says “Over the years, the average success rate of two point conversions in the NFL has been around 50% (compared to a near 100% conversion on the single extra point)” so the expected value is one point (50% of 2 points). Moving to the one yard line the expected value of a two point conversion would increase to greater than one point so some coaches would usually go for two. I would expect push back from coaches who do not like making this decision (like the guys who punt from their opponents 40 yard line even when behind so they don’t get criticized if their decision fails)

  51. Its only worth 1 freakin point, so how hard do you want it to be.

    Besides which, if you move the 2 pointer to the 1 yard line it’s probably still a 50/50 proposition that you convert it. If it wasn’t then they’d have to change the rule again because they’d be doing away with the original rules to stop the conversion success rate from being too predictable, only for the new rule to have the same predictability element to it..

    So, ultimately, even if you went for the 2 pointer every time you scored a TD you’d end up with the same number of points as you’d have in a normal game if you just kicked the PAT every time.

    Just leave it the heck alone.

  52. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Mar 23, 2015 12:58 PM
    The most exciting play I ever saw was when Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary on a 2-point conversion attempt and some dude named Ha Ha just stood there and watched it be completed in front of him.
    ————————————————
    The most exciting play I ever saw was when Favre declined to literally walk into his kicker’s range and threw the losing interception against the Saints.

  53. I see Goodell is really concerned with player safety again! Such a hypocrite. He really needs to go

  54. Want it interesting? Have the extra point kick stay at the 2-yd line by a drop kick and snap ball on the hash mark on the side where the touchdown was scored. Keep the 2 pt conversion at the two yard line and snap the ball on the side where the touchdown was scored.

  55. It is pretty clear the league wants to get rid of place kickers.

    So, just do it then….

    Get rid of Field Goals (either completely, or make them a punter drop kick FG attempt).
    Replace the kickoff with the proposed “Scoring team gets 4th and 20 from their 30 yard line” idea (that scenario replaces the “kickoff”, so, either they will punt, or go for it, which essentially replaces the onside kick with a 4th and 20 play).
    This “extra point” from the 1 rule, and you can either run/pass for 2 points, or drop kick FG for 1 point.

    Good bye place kickers.

  56. ==========================

    “So, (1) the PAT simply would be attempted from the spot on the field from where the TD play was originally snapped.

    Then, (2) bearing in-mind that the goal posts already have went through some aesthetic changes through the years, someone has suggested a new era set of posts that are dual-pronged.

    The current 18-ft width would remain applicable for FGs, but then an inner set of new posts would extend at a 12-ft width, specifically for PATs.”

    ==========================

    thompytoes, I didn’t edit very well… sorry…

    I meant to say, “So, (1) the PAT simply would be attempted from the spot *between the hashmarks perpendicular to* where the TD play was originally snapped.” So, if the TD play started at the far right hashmark at the 18, then the kick would be snapped from the far right hashmark at the normal 2 yard line (not the 18).

  57. The player that scores the TD should have to kick the extra point. So if you run a dive play your HB has to kick the extra point. Or if a Dlineman recovers a fumble for a TD then BJ Raji is now kicking the Extra point.

  58. Making the extra point tougher actually increases the value of field goals. Seven points for one TD now is greater than two FGs. If the extra point isn’t basically automatic one TD will equal two FGs more often. Moving the ball to the one yard line won’t change a thing, teams will mostly still take the automatic one point.

  59. Stupid and meaningless. If the NFL hates kicking extra points, do away with them and make teams go for 2.

  60. “The most exciting play I ever saw was when Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary on a 2-point conversion attempt and some dude named Ha Ha just stood there and watched it be completed in front of him.”
    ——
    GB fans, cover your eyes. Oh wait…too late.

  61. If the NFL wants to add an element of excitement, allow the defense to return a blocked XP, or an INT/Fumble recovery, for a defensive score of their own.

  62. Many ideas floated here (and elsewhere).

    So, Mr. Goodell, how bout a fan-driven process to determine what should stick?

    64 preseason games this August. Take 8 of the ideas, and plug those in for 8 games each. Let us all stew on those for 2015. No rush, right?

    Gather a few fans from each team to participate in focus groups that narrow those 8 down to the top 4, and in 2016, plug-in one of the ideas for all of the games each weekend of the preseason. Or, if there really appears to be a consensus for 2 of the 8, go with half the preseason for each one.

    Gather another few fans together in the same way in 2017, and based on their feedback, make the final call.

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