NFL kickers are 71-for-75 on extra points through Week One

AP

Extra points are still easy for NFL kickers. But they’re no longer automatic.

In Week One, NFL kickers went a combined 71-for-75 on the new, longer extra points, a conversion rate of 94.7 percent. That’s still very high, but it’s not automatic the way extra points used to be. Only eight extra points were missed during the 2014 regular season, with kickers making 99.3 percent of their extra points. NFL kickers have made at least 98 percent of extra points every season since 1994.

Now that extra points aren’t a sure thing, NFL teams may decide to go for two more often, although in Week One no coach took the bold step of going for two as a default position. Maybe some team should: In Week One, teams went 4-for-5 on two-point conversions, and historically two-point conversions have typically been about a 50-50 proposition. If you can make a two-point conversion 50 percent of the time and you make an extra point 95 percent of the time, you’re better off going for two most of the time.

If even one coach decides to go for two more often he kicks the extra point, that would represent a dramatic shift in football strategy that the NFL has never seen, in addition to making the game more interesting. Some coach — a coach with a good goal-line offense and a shaky kicker — should do it.

39 responses to “NFL kickers are 71-for-75 on extra points through Week One

  1. If it was my call, they should be another 5 yards back.

    71 of 75 is still pretty automatic, and nothing should be that easy in the NFL.

  2. I don’t see this changing much for all the teams in a dome, in which weather is controlled. Going to take a block or an outright shank for an NFL kicker to miss a 33 yard kick in those conditions.

    HOWEVER…once the weather really starts to whip up (especially in December), I think that’s when you see the shift…better to go for 2 then start giving away points with poor kicking conditions.

  3. I may be in the minority here, but I do not like the new XP rules. It’s just dumb. It’s starting to feel like the NFL is morphing into arena football.

  4. Over a small number of events, like the number of touchdowns by one team in one game, it wouldn’t work out to 50-50. Just like flipping a coin and having heads turn up 10 times in a row, you might get all four 2 point converts in one game and miss all three in the next or miss or make for several games in a row. A 94% chance on a kick is a more consistent option.

  5. If it was my call, they should be another 5 yards back.
    ============================
    Great idea, lets change the rules in the NFL even more SMDH

  6. Colts went for all 2 point conversions, didn’t they? I know it could’ve been a result of the 24 points that Buffalo had, trying to keep it a three score game but it could indicate their willingness to go for 2 more often as well…

  7. I like the new XP rule. Weren’t there butterflies in your stomach when your team (in my case, STL) scored to tie it — wait, not tied yet — here comes the extra point!

  8. It will be really exciting when a team loses a game because of a stupid missed extra point (s).

  9. Your 2-point conversion logic is really terrible. Yes, you would score (slightly) more points over the course of a season, but lose more games. You go for two when the score makes sense to do so.

  10. Hate this new rule. The average NFL fan is going to tune out when a game fails to go to overtime because of an extra point. Or go to overtime when a team was an extra point away from winning.

  11. @bullcharger – the point is that it is not actually the more consistent option. If your probabilities are 94% and 50% each individual PAT is worth .94 points before it’s kicked and each 2 pt conversion is worth 1 point before it’s attempted. The fact that you might have streaks one way or the other doesn’t change the underlying values.

  12. “Some coach — a coach with a good goal-line offense and a shaky kicker — should do it.”

    So the Steelers you mean.

  13. teamgale88 says:
    Sep 15, 2015 9:05 AM
    Hate this new rule. The average NFL fan is going to tune out when a game fails to go to overtime because of an extra point. Or go to overtime when a team was an extra point away from winning.

    Um, actually all fans would tune out because a game is over when it doesn’t go to overtime.

  14. I think we should make it really interesting and the kicker needs to kick while under sniper fire.

    I’ll say it again, make a sliding scale of point worth depending in the distance. Add another five yards to this distance for one point, ten yards further back for 2 points, another ten yards back for 3 point, another ten yards for 4 points. THAT will make the game interesting. Teams could close a 20 point gap in no time. Teams might have to take chances early on.

  15. I’m in agreement that the PAT was a boring non-football play. Nothing should be that automatic. But that isn’t what bothers me about the kicking game these days.

    What bugs me is the number of touchbacks that are happening on kickoffs all across the league, not just in the thin air of Denver. A kickoff runback is one of the most exciting plays in the game, and we are seeing fewer and fewer as the ability of the average kicker to drill it out the back of the endzone increases. They either need to reduce the K ball pressure, or move the kick off back, until at least 50% of kicks land short of the end zone, so we at least get to see some actual football being played.

  16. This is the worst rule change in the past 20 years. I thought we didn’t want games to be decided by kickers. Isn’t that one reason they changed the o.t. rules (for the better IMO)?

    Oh, and Belichick pushed for the change. He’s got a strong legged kicker who’s used to kicking in bad weather. “Uh sure Bill, good idea.” Outsmarted again. Sheesh.

  17. Congratulations, NFL, you’ve now made kickers more important than they’ve EVER BEEN, and not increased the frequency of two point attempts whatsoever.
    Just what everyone was clamoring for… right.

  18. fjw2 says:
    Sep 15, 2015 9:38 AM
    I’m in agreement that the PAT was a boring non-football play. Nothing should be that automatic. But that isn’t what bothers me about the kicking game these days.

    What bugs me is the number of touchbacks that are happening on kickoffs all across the league, not just in the thin air of Denver. A kickoff runback is one of the most exciting plays in the game, and we are seeing fewer and fewer as the ability of the average kicker to drill it out the back of the endzone increases. They either need to reduce the K ball pressure, or move the kick off back, until at least 50% of kicks land short of the end zone, so we at least get to see some actual football being played.
    ————————————————
    I bet the league loves all of the touchbacks. Eventually, they’ll use the high percentage of touchbacks as evidence that kickoffs are no longer needed. Oh yeah, and they’ll also pull out the “player safety” card while they’re at it.

  19. I don’t like the new rule. I hate the inconsistency. Kickoffs were moved back up to the 35 to decrease the amount of contact. Now they are fiddling with the PAT distance in order to increase the amount of contact by creating more 2-point plays over PATs.

    I also hate the revised OT rules. “But if one team wins the coin flip and kicks a field goal, the other team doesn’t get a chance to catch up.” I say the should not have fallen behind in the first place. First team to score in OT should win, period. Put on your big boy drawers, quit crying because your feelings got hurt when you lost the coin flip and move on.

    If the NFL has decided they want nothing in the hands of kickers, get rid of them. Mandate all drives after TDs start at the 20, and make touchdowns worth 7 points, with a team having the option of going for a 1-point bonus with a play from the 2 yard line.

    Either leave the kicking game alone or get rid of it. Make up your damn mind.

  20. In all fairness, it’s probable that if PATs had always been from the 25 yard line and they just changed it to being at the 2, I’d be all up in arms calling it a stupid change.

  21. Just a question slightly off-topic:

    With all the sloppy performances this weekend which are undoubtedly related to the reduced practices allowed by the CBA, how bad could the quality of play get if the League converts two preseason games to two regular season games?

  22. I can see coaches avoiding the kick in lousy weather, something they never considered when the PAT came from the 2. Otherwise, I don’t expect a lot of change.

  23. “how bad could the quality of play get if the League converts two preseason games to two regular season games?”

    It will have 2 awful effects.

    1. Rookies, young players and players new to a system will not have enough time to learn it and be even vaguely competent on the field if they cut the preseason in half. So much for draft picks helping you any time early in the season.

    2. Any new head coach/coaching staff installing entirely new systems is totally screwed. No team with a new head coach stands a chance during his first year if they cut the preseason in half.

    Everyone remember how bad the Pats vs Jets first Thursday football game of the season in 2014 was because they only had 3 days to prep ?

    Yup, you’ll see at least a full month of those stinkers if they cut the preseason in half.

  24. I’d love to see the NFL explain how the rule is more exciting if a team loses the Super Bowl after scoring a huge comeback touchdown and then misses the extra point

  25. CFL kickers are making these extra points too. It’s when there’s snow and wind and cold that we’ll see if the extended distance affects a Grey Cup or a trip to the Super Bowl.

  26. Still don’t like the change.

    “Bonus” plays should only have a cumulative effect on the score, not a deciding one. Sure, an extra point could have decided a game in the past but now you’re talking about making them frequently as important as the TD they are a bonus for and to me that seems like a bad way to go.

    I guess we will just have to wait until we see a prime time battle between two sweetheart teams and have a dramatic last minute TD to tie the game get completely obliterated because of a missed kick before people start to realize it.

  27. I’m loving the new XP rules. Went from a near sure thing to an event that has some doubt. The play means something and is critical to watch.

    Take Dallas vs New York. Dallas tied the game with 7 seconds to go. They still had to convert the XP. Before it was almost a sure thing, now there is still drama, still an opportunity to choke.

    Good Job NFL

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