NFL may see its first one-point safety


A little-noticed aspect of the NFL’s new extra point rule is that we could see, for the first time in league history, a one-point safety.

If the defense gets the ball in the field of play on a conversion attemp, and then a defensive player takes the ball into his own end zone and is tackled, the result will be a one-point safety: The offensive team will get one point. That has never happened before in NFL history.

It had never happened before because it was virtually impossible: In the past, any time the defense took possession of the ball on a point-after attempt (either a one-point kick or a two-point conversion), the play was blown dead. A one-point safety was theoretically possible before, but it would have happened only if the defensive team had illegally batted a fumbled ball in the end zone.

One-point safeties have happened in college football, most notably in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, when Kansas State blocked an Oregon extra point and a Kansas State player picked up the ball and ran it into his own end zone. The college rule that gives the defense the opportunity to score two points by returning an interception, fumble or blocked kick to the opposite end zone means that defensive teams that take possession of the ball will try to run it back for a score, and sometimes those players end up getting tackled after backtracking into their own end zones.

With that rule now in place in the NFL, it will happen in the NFL eventually as well: Some defensive player is going to reverse field, get caught in his own end zone, and give up the first one-point safety in NFL history.

74 responses to “NFL may see its first one-point safety

  1. Just stop.


    Leave it alone. You’re fixing a fully functional league, and only going to break it. Just ask MLB or the NBA how the “If it ain’t broke, fix it” strategy worked out for them.

  2. 1 point. The only impossible score in football. I really hope someone loses 35-1 next year. Sounds more like a boxing record than a football score.

  3. NFL may see it’s first significant drop in TV viewers.

    Not just because of this rule, but with all the other shenanigans going on.

  4. mcdeez22 says:
    May 22, 2015 7:06 PM
    1 point. The only impossible score in football. I really hope someone loses 35-1 next year. Sounds more like a boxing record than a football score.


    It’s still impossible to only get 1 point in a game. The one point safety is awarded to the offense after they have scored, the defense recovers a failed PAT or 2-point conversion, and the defensive player is then tackled in their own end zone.

  5. Like getakluwe said, a good way to get the Kicker more involved into the game making him a much more valuable piece would be to make a 55+ yard Field Goal worth 4 points instead of 3… which would also make once nearly impossible last minute wins when you are down by 3-4 points possible. Kickers with booming legs like Janakowski would be extremely valuable.

    On one hand, the game was never really in need of any changes, but on the other it does make it a bit more interesting in some ways.

  6. Sucks. The NFL. Let’s all watch commercials and then quess who is getting fined for a rough tackle.

    What happen here?

  7. I don’t get all these people who say “make long field goals worth 4!” No.. if you were going to change the scoring for field goals make long field goals worth two points and make field goals within the ten worth 4. Reward the offense for getting down the field. No one wants to see a offensive team potentially go backwards so they have a shot at a 4 point field goal. What sense does that make?

  8. These are starting to sound like the rules for my fantasy league. And not in a good way.

  9. Roger Goodell, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady walk into a bar…. yada, yaday, yaday, and that’s how a dynasty crumbled before our very eye’s to the thunderous applause of millions. How you like ya chowda?

  10. Is the extra point ‘problem’ really fixed if you have made things so damned complicated that you’ll need to pull out the rule book after every attempt to see if someone gets points and if so who and if so how many?

  11. Oh, for God’s sake.

    Enough already. What’s next, grazing the pylon with your toe on the way out of bounds is worth 3.5 points?

  12. Say what?

    Looks like what they are trying to do is to make something that they think is unexciting into something more exciting but will still be unexciting for 99.9% of the time.
    Just…. just give it up and keep it the way things are. The majority of the football game is exciting the way it is.
    What’s aspect will they look at next? Roller skates for the water boys?

  13. If they could somehow have each home team’s official mascot stand in the tunnel area behind the goalposts…if he can catch it in the air: 2 points. If a team does NOT have a mascot, they can use a standard circus clown.

  14. If the NFL rulebook is as thick as the NYC phone book someone switch the covers as a prank. They won’t know the difference just by the thickness.

  15. Actually, since forfeitures are recorded as 1-0 final score, I think the Seahawks technically won the Superbowl by a score of 1-0.

  16. What about the 1 point safety that loses the game for the defensive team. That also will eventually happen. My money is on the JETS!

  17. Does anyone here NOT think that Bellichick is studying the new rules, looking for ways to exploit them?

  18. Just know that Belichick is always going to be about 3 steps ahead. Even if they make them play 10 on 11. better yet, on all tackles deemed to hard, give the other team a power play! Fing Goodell

  19. A blocked punt, covered by a defensive player who laterals back to a teammate, but the ball is intercepted by the punter who drop kicks a field goal that falls short and is run back by the defense is worth one or two points, depending on whether the end zone is on sunny or shady side. Maybe.

  20. babygaga19 says:
    May 22, 2015 9:48 PM
    What next? Throw it through a clowns head for nine points?


    I hear they are looking to replace the pregame coin toss with a 2 man sack race to be held on the Saturday before the game.

  21. Is it also worth one point if somehow and extra point is blocked and through a comedy of errors is knocked out the back of the kicking teams endzone or is that worth 2? Does a safety on either side of a two point conversion attempt equal 2 pts or is that one as well?

  22. Not that I like Goodall at all however those of you blaming him for these changes need to stop. The owners all vote on these and the majority rules.

    That said, Goodell is still a jackass but not for rule changes.

  23. moerawn says: May 22, 2015 8:24 PM


    With Goodell being nothing more than a mouth piece paid by the owners to take the pressure and spotlight off of their decisions it makes sense to say it this way since

    “NFL owners stop tweaking the game, you suck.”

    And that really is the same thing for everything. Goodell is in that position because he is doing exactly what the owners want. If he didn’t we would have a new commissioner tomorrow.

    Goodell doesn’t even get a vote during the owners meetings. Pretty good system if you ask me. The owners can wreck havoc with suspensions, rule changes and any other nonsense they want and NO ONE blames them they blame the fall guy. No wonder the gets paid what he does.

  24. Someone said it is impossible to only get one-point. That is not true.

    One point would be awarded if the defense was returning a 2-point return and fumbled while the offense then regains possession and moves backwards into the end zone 98 yards away from the original conversion attempt.

    Yes, this is likely to never happen. Ever. I mean EVER. But scoring a single point is now a possibility.

  25. I’m looking forward to the bad beat of a coach taking a knee on an extra point after they go up by 1 with little time left so they don’t risk it being blocked and returned for 2 points. Guaranteed I’ll get screwed by it.

  26. And then a shark tank will be installed at the 50.

    How old is Goodell? When is he going to retire?

  27. I don’t quite understand. Doesn’t a team get two points for faking the Xtra-point and punching it across. Why should a Safety count for less? Shouldn’t it be two points just as if they went for two from short yardage?

  28. Pretty soon it will be scored like fantasy football. I haven’t watched the draft since they changed it. I don’t watch Thursday night football games. Soon I won’t watch at all. I was once a die hard football fan but the game is turning into a joke.

  29. 1 point. The only impossible score in football. I really hope someone loses 35-1 next year.


    This rule is for conversion attempts, Ace, and the point goes to the offense. After it already scored a touchdown.

  30. Why is it not two points? If the defense returns the blocked PAT ìt would be 2, why wouldn’t this?

  31. if the Cleveland Browns were their hideous uniforms they should receive a uniform violation which is -8 points…never happened the NFL history but needs to start this year.

  32. How about -2 points for fumbles and thrown ints?

    And an extra 3 if you throw for over 300 yards?

    And why doesn’t each owner just pick entirely new teams every late August while eating wings and drinking beer and making fun of each others drafting ability.

    Mark Davis would be the first to call out the name of somebody already drafted no doubt.

  33. We should score every touchdown catch like they score figure skating…. A team of fans can determine if the td is worth 4, 5 or six points… and if it’s extraordinary be given the freedom to reward up to ten points.

  34. It’s not like they changed the rule in order to make one-point safeties possible. From what it sounds like, the one-point safety already existed (it just could almost never happen).

  35. Won’t take long if Mike McCarthy keeps kicking field goals from the 6″ line!


    McCarthy kicks field goals!!?? Maybe I’ll just listen via radio this year. I don’t want to see him in those tight pants.

  36. Well, if we’re going to turn it into an all new sport (which seems the intent):

    Field goal inside the 10 yd line = 1 point
    Field goal from outside the 10 to the 30 = 2 points
    Field goal from the 30 to the 45 = 3 points
    45 and beyond = 4 points

    Now you have put the incentive on the offense to get it into the end zone when you get close or walk away with little. More teams will go for it on 4th and goal when they are close. If you fail – the other team still has to go the length of the field. On the other hand, the coach who wants to gamble for 4 points gives the opposing team a short field if they miss, but rewards the kicker (and the team) for his accuracy if makes it.

    That should be complicated enough to appease the present regime.

  37. JSpicoli says:
    May 23, 2015 12:07 AM
    And then a shark tank will be installed at the 50.

    I like the water hazard idea. Maybe add a 10 ft rope wall at the 1’s. Offensive and defensive players would have to climb it to break the plane of the endzone and we’d have almost no more of these annoying long pass plays resulting in touchdowns.

    Maybe a spike strip at the 20 and cobblestone between the 30 and 35 to make icy games even better.

  38. 2 things

    1 so does the team who gave up the FG have to kick-off to the team who just scored 7???

    2 why are yall blaming Goodell for thw rule change?? Lol I get that everyone hates him but cant we stick to hating him for his own decisions and that decisions that come from the owners?

  39. thehouseofho says:
    May 22, 2015 7:18 PM
    mcdeez22 says:
    May 22, 2015 7:06 PM
    1 point. The only impossible score in football. I really hope someone loses 35-1 next year. Sounds more like a boxing record than a football score.


    It’s still impossible to only get 1 point in a game. The one point safety is awarded to the offense after they have scored, the defense recovers a failed PAT or 2-point conversion, and the defensive player is then tackled in their own end zone.

    It is not impossible to score a single point. Improbable, yes, but not impossible. If for some reason the team trying the PAT or two point conversion retreated 97 yards and got tackled in their own endzone, this would in fact result in a single point for the defense. Most likely this would look like an interception on a two point try, run back 90+ yards and then fumbled into the endzone, where the team attempting the try recovers and is tackled in the endzone.

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