Extra points are down and two-point conversions are up through two weeks of the 2015 season.
Kickers in the NFL are making the new, longer extra points, at a rate of 94.1 percent. That’s by far the lowest success rate in decades: The last time the league-wide success rate was below 95 percent was in 1979. Last year the league-wide success rate was 99.3 percent, and it’s been above 97 percent every year since 1989.
Meanwhile, there have already been seven successful two-point conversion attempts this season. That puts the league on pace to have a total of 56 two-point conversions this season, which would exactly double last season’s total of 28.
So there’s little doubt that the new extra point rule is changing the game, making kicks a little harder and two-point conversions a little more enticing. What remains to be seen is whether any team will radically change its approach and decide to go for two as the default choice after a touchdown. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin appears to be heading in that direction: On Sunday, Tomlin decided to go for two after the Steelers’ first touchdown gave them a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. That’s a move no NFL coach had made since Chip Kelly unsuccessfully tried a two-point conversion trick play after the Eagles’ first touchdown of his coaching career in 2013.
Will Tomlin take the next step and go for two routinely? Will any other coach? If kickers keep missing, some coach might. And that would make games more interesting to watch.