The success rate on extra points is the lowest this season that it has been since straight-on kickers were wearing single-bar facemasks.
Heading into Week 14, the league-wide extra point rate for the 2021 season is 92.5 percent. That’s the lowest mark since 1979, when kickers made 91.3 percent of extra points.
The NFL moved extra point kicks back by 13 yards in 2015, which made the kicks noticeably harder, but there was a widespread belief at the time that kickers would adjust and improve. That hasn’t happened. Here’s the extra point success rate for each of the last eight seasons, dating back to the last season before the NFL made extra points harder:
2021: 92.5 percent heading into Week 14.
2020: 93.0 percent.
2019: 93.9 percent.
2018: 94.3 percent.
2017: 94.0 percent.
2016: 93.6 percent.
2015: 94.2 percent.
2014: 99.3 percent.
Far from kickers getting better at the longer extra points with time to adjust, they have actually gotten worse. And this year’s accuracy rate is more likely to go down than go up in the final weeks of the season, as kicking gets a little more difficult as weather turns colder.
The team with the league’s worst extra point rate is the Texans, who are just 13-for-17 this season, or 76.5 percent. The Jets, Saints, Chargers and Jaguars are all under 85 percent this season, a success rate that would have been considered unthinkably bad before the 2015 rule change. Five teams are perfect on extra points this season: The Bills, Eagles, Ravens, Falcons and Giants.
One piece of good news for football fans is that coaches may be noticing, and going for two more often: In 2021 teams are going for two on 11 percent of touchdowns, compared to 9 percent of touchdowns in 2020 and 8 percent of touchdowns in 2019. Perhaps coaches are starting to recognize that the extra point kick is no gimme, and that if they’re on the fence between kicking and going for two, they should go for two. The two-point conversion is a much more exciting play than the extra point, and so kickers’ lack of success on extra points may prove to make the NFL more exciting.