Extra point rate drops to 94.2 percent, lowest in decades

AP

If the NFL’s goal with its new extra point rule was to make the play more competitive and less automatic, the league succeeded.

Extra point success rates dropped to their lowest levels in decades this season. For the 2015 season as a whole, kickers made 1,146 extra points on 1,217 attempts, a 94.2 percent success rate. That’s far worse than last year, when kickers went 1,222-for-1,230, or 99.3 percent.

The last time the league-wide success rate was below 95 percent was in 1979, and it’s been above 97 percent every year since 1989. Kickers used to view extra points as close to sure things, but that’s no longer the case: From 1992 to 2014, no kicker who attempted at least 20 extra points ever made less than 90 percent of them. This year five kickers who attempted 20 or more extra points made less than 90 of them.

But if the NFL’s goal was to get more teams to go for two, that didn’t work as well. Two-point conversion attempts were up from 58 last year to 94 this year, but that’s still a rate of less than one two-point conversion attempt every other game. That’s not enough of a difference for the average fan to notice. Although the Steelers set a new NFL record with eight successful two-point conversion attempts this season, they were the only team that regularly defied the standard chart for when to kick and when to go for two. Around the league, going for two is still the exception, not the norm.

The NFL will likely stick with the current extra point rule in 2016, but there will be continued debates about tweaking the rule, either by moving kicks farther back or moving two-point attempts closer to the goal line. Eventually, extra points may get even harder, and two-point conversions may get even more enticing. This won’t be the last year that the NFL makes a change to the extra point rule.

54 responses to “Extra point rate drops to 94.2 percent, lowest in decades

  1. I hope everyone remembers the pre-season predictions for this percentage. Most people were waaaaaay off.

  2. Comparing this rate change to the Field Goal rate changes (at several distances) would make this even more valid or informative. If the overall rates were down, it may just be the kickers’ more than the rule change……..Suspect not, but until we have that information on hand, just a rate change is not totally definitive.

  3. They could make it even more interesting (AKA more misses) if they allowed penalties on the scoring play to be enforced on the XP instead of only on the kickoff. That will make those unsportsmanlikes and other calls after the play actually mean something, and if a team wanted to go for 2 after having a penalty on the opposing team enforced it’d put the ball at the 1.

    Just some food for thought.

  4. That’s why baseball will always be a better & more pure sport than football. Someone from the 60’s could to a baseball game today and follow the game perfectly fine. They are trying to ruin it with instant replay but it is still the same game they have been playing forever.

    Football is constantly tweaking things and its usually for the worse. Even the referees don’t know what’s going on and it shows on the field.

    I love football and I have no problem admitting its more popular than baseball but it is not a better game.

  5. They could make it even more interesting (AKA more misses) if they allowed penalties on the scoring play to be enforced on the XP instead of only on the kickoff. That will make those unsportsmanlikes and other calls after the play actually mean something, and if a team wanted to go for 2 after having a penalty on the opposing team enforced it’d put the ball at the 1.
    **************************************
    I like it, 2 dimesandanickelback.

    I like the new XP rule too, it’s not automatic anymore but don’t mess with the yardage any more.

  6. All these changes are going to turn a good traditional NFL into the XFL2 entertainment league. No one cares. Football is exciting enough without messing with it.

    Just focus on getting the officiating RIGHT.

  7. I think that if you want to kick the extra point you should have to do it old school. No soccer style kicks, ALL extra point attempts should have to be done with a straight ahead type kick, now that would be drama…..

  8. Extra point rate drops to 94.2 percent, lowest in decades…personally, I attribute the drop in the Dow this morning to this, rather than the weakness of the Chinese market, or middle Eastern fears…

  9. FAr fetched to believe that the kicker-brotherhood intentionally ‘threw’ some kicks to keep the percentile down? to avoid moving the kick back, even further?

  10. I may be in a minority, but I feel that the move to 15 yards was too drastic a move all at once. 10 yards would have been a better compromise.

    Games and strategies shouldn’t be decided on a missed extra point in the 1st quarter.

  11. Wow, these extra points sure are exciting. I could see this becoming its own sport: the Extra Points League. Roger really nailed this one. Keep up the stellar work!

  12. The Bills kicker alone has missed 6 this year, and they don’t score a lot of TD’s.

    I love how he went to slam his helmet down yesterday, after missing a PAT, and it bounced back up and hit him in the face.

  13. joestemme says:
    Jan 4, 2016 11:26 AM

    I may be in a minority, but I feel that the move to 15 yards was too drastic a move all at once. 10 yards would have been a better compromise.

    Games and strategies shouldn’t be decided on a missed extra point in the 1st quarter.
    —————————-

    Maybe they should move it farther back each quarter. Make it harder as the game goes along.

  14. My Dolphins missed three extra points this year, yet I still like the rule. What’s the point (no pun intended) of a sure thing? Now we have the suspense of will he make it or not. The kicker has now become even more relevant than just on kick-offs.

  15. Good. No play should be effectively 100% automatic.

    Still its hilarious that moving the xp back to a point most kickers make field goals from all the time resulted in this many misses

  16. I hate the new rule. We don’t need games ending in 21-20 scores because of a missed extra point. Kickers have too much impact on the game to begin with.

  17. One question I don’t see many people asking is: Does this new rule make the game more fun? Is it really *fun* to watch people miss more kicks? Sure, there’s an extra couple seconds of drama, and intrigue when one is missed, but does it actually make the net result more fun for the fan?

    I’m not so sure it does. It’s not really fun to watch people fail, especially with things that should be routine. Scoring is fun. Not scoring is not.

  18. tommykramer9 says:
    Jan 4, 2016 11:23 AM

    I think that if you want to kick the extra point you should have to do it old school. No soccer style kicks, ALL extra point attempts should have to be done with a straight ahead type kick, now that would be drama…..
    Hell, I can you one better. Make it a drop kick.

  19. I would rather see them spend time trying to effectively integrate technology into the game in order to have a higher accuracy on calls on the field being accurate, rather than moving the extra point around.

    Did the difference in extra points improve the game in any way?

  20. tommykramer9 says:
    Jan 4, 2016 10:59 AM
    And this does WHAT for the game? Still, nobody cares about the extra point….

    ————-

    The league’s public argument is that the quality of the athlete has gotten better, so they wanted to move the line back to make it more like the old days.

    The private argument probably has something to do with removing special teams, which the league sees as a violent, insurance-cost increasing play no one cares about.

    While the league has made a move to get coaches to try to kick fewer extra points, it’s made a move to move the kickoff line closer making touchbacks easier. If touchbacks rise anymore, the NFL could justify just starting the ball on the 25 after every score – without even having a kickoff.

    The NFL executive who figures out how to get rid of the punt will probably be Executive of the Year.

    The NFL only cares about player safety as it relates to the cost of operating insurance and the NFL knows injury rates for special teams plays are far higher than regular plays.

    If they could move the extra point to the 50 without the average fan caring, they would.

  21. Just make it be 50 yards away and screw over kickers a bit more.

    While you’re at it, ban the ability to be within 5 yards of QBs since sacks seemed up this season and we can’t have QBs being sacked!

    Just make football be a glorified version of pinball with points points points!

    Damn Goodell.

  22. lanjoith says:
    Jan 4, 2016 11:14 AM

    That’s why baseball will always be a better & more pure sport than football. Someone from the 60’s could to a baseball game today and follow the game perfectly fine. They are trying to ruin it with instant replay but it is still the same game they have been playing forever.

    Football is constantly tweaking things and its usually for the worse. Even the referees don’t know what’s going on and it shows on the field.
    _______________
    Love the NFL and prefer watching vs. baseball, however you make an interesting point. The dynamics in football don’t work like they did years ago. Players being bigger, faster, equipment changes etc., dramatically changed the game.
    Baseball is in fact unique in that bigger, faster etc. doesn’t equate to a better player. You can actually compare baseball players and teams from different eras while it’s impossible with the NFL.

  23. So, how many GAMES pivoted on extra points made versus missed? I don’t recall a LOT of games that hinged on it. I’m sure there were some, but not a lot, and the more important point, how many of those “change” games affected the playoff layout? A lot of extra points were missed, but the it didn’t feel like the game was changed in its outcomes, short or long term.

  24. gonzoforbills says:
    Jan 4, 2016 12:38 PM
    Why not make it progressive? 1 pt from 15 and 2 from 30? That would make the coaching decision more interesting…

    ——————————————

    I’ve said the same thing, even more so. Have kicks value between 1-4 points, depending on distance. 4 points would have to be from Tom Dempsey distance, but still available. We want excitement? We want the kickers to actually have to earn a living? Then let’s get nuts! And the kicking distance would count for both extra points and field goals. A chip shot field goal isn’t going to be 3 points anymore.

    Also, if they really want to really get nuts, make TD’s worth less, with a lower limit of 4, so a range form 6 (or higher?) to 4 points depending on distance to the goal left. So there’d be a constant opposing force to kick or try and get a TD. There’d be many, many more combinations to decision making for teams trying to catch up, but a team COULD make up 20 points with two possessions. Teams would be punished for being too conservative, etc.

    The second thought is fanciful, but the kicking distance thing I think will be the future. The league wants more points, more intrigue, and more drama. Adding points to kicks after TD’s for longer distances will accomplish all that.

  25. The comments from the haters are funny.
    Personally, I prefer the extra drama in the PAT.
    Nobody’s fiddling with the psi’s of the football, meaning everyone has the same chance without cheating.
    The PAT was the most useless play in football, after the kneeldown. Now it’s an integral part of the game.
    Sorry you were robbed of your chance to go get another beer. You can still do it with the avalanche of commercials after almost every play.

  26. The league “succeeded” in screwing up the scoring and making the outcomes of games more of a crapshoot. Congratulations.

  27. I didn’t think it would matter.

    Boy do some kickers have problems with it though.

    I find missed kicks make the game more interesting.

    In the BUF/NY game yesterday and was a pivotal point of discussion for at least one quarter due to the impact it had.

  28. For once the NFL actually did something right, moving the PAT kick point. Even monkeys fall out of tree’s though.

  29. Why is there a point after if it’s pretty much automatic? I like that there is a degree of skill needed now.

    Otherwise just make a touchdown 7 points.

    The league is creating some competition where there previously was none.. and that doesn’t bother me at all.

  30. Frum Slum says:
    Jan 4, 2016 1:39 PM
    That’s awesome. I’m glad they made the change. I actually watch the extra points intensly now

    ——————————————————

    Best use of sarcasm I’ve seen in a long time.

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