Extra point success rate down to 92.5 percent, lowest since 1979

Los Angeles Chargers v Cincinnati Bengals
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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.

25 responses to “Extra point success rate down to 92.5 percent, lowest since 1979

  1. I think moving the extra point kick back was the dumbest thing in the world. At the time, Bill Belichick had the most accurate kicker, so he was able to convince everyone else to go along with his ploy to gain an advantage. Nothing wrong with that. But really. How many people do you see attending games wearing a kicker’s jersey. How many people watch football because they’re so intrigued with a kicker botching a short field goal? It’s stupid to have competition decided by flukes. The extra point should be automatic. In fact, they shouldn’t even kick it. They should just give you 7 points for a TD. I mean, it’s football, not soccer.

  2. What is the 2 point conversion rate? It would have to be near or above 50% to make it worthwhile. Otherwise, the 92.5% on extra points ain’t bad.

  3. I don’t have any data, but I do feel like we’ve seen more kickers getting injured than normal. That would potentially impact those numbers. I don’t know that weather has been any worse than other years.

  4. Actually the fact a kicker has an 8% chance of blowing an extra point to win the game makes extra points far less boring.

  5. I’m curious how this has affected overall field goal percentage, as well. It sure seems like kickers lost their minds when the extra point was moved back.

  6. The league takes a lot of grief – and much of it is justified – but moving the extra point back to where it’s not automatic was one great rule change.

  7. Some of the old time kickers have retired, and a few teams like the Jets have brought in BAD kickers.

  8. The NFL should add an incentive to the 2pt play – if you score the touchdown with the two point successful conversion, you get the ball back at your 25 yard line since the defense did not do their job. This would also eliminate the meaningless onsides kick.

  9. The rule has turned out to be a great added element to the game. Extra pts are not gimmies any more. The NFL GOT THIS rule right.

  10. I think kicking is like a golf swing, and if something gets in your head it can mess things up. Moving the extra point back was an excellent move – it shouldn’t be “automatic”, and there’s now some drama in that play as well as impacts to the game down the line if a team misses a PAT early.

    In rugby the PAT is an uncontested kick from a line on the field based on where the ball was touched down when the try was scored. So a score at the edge of the field means the kick is from a very harsh angle. Now THAT would make things very interesting in the NFL.

  11. Harper says:
    December 9, 2021 at 8:54 am
    Maybe if the Giants scored more they would have missed a few!!!

    LOL !!! Since they have only scored 3 TD’s this year, they have a pretty small sample size of point-after attempts.

  12. The funny thing is that when the NFL announced the change for XPs, social media lost their mind about how the NFL was ruining the game. This was probably one of the NFLs best rule change. XPs are no longer automatic

  13. It was actually brilliant to make it a football play again. For those questioning why even have the kick the game is called football. Kicking has been an important element of the game since its inception.

  14. I was totally against this rule change when instituted.
    I’m a convert, though. I’m surprised at the big difference the rule change made.

  15. FGs and and extra points should be out of football. Fortunes should not be won and lost on a kick. Makes no sense these days. If you make to the 10 yard line and fail on 4th down, you get 3 points or something.

  16. If the nfl spent money on their kickers soccer players would convert. A lot of pressure that goes into a field goal or extra point especially when you sit majority of the time. You miss,you’re hated by the whole state. Why deal with it when they make the less dough

  17. Dumb rule that BB wanted when he had great kicker. Boswell almost blew gm on Sun, for Steelers. I always remember the kicker in movie North Dallas Forty blowing the extra pt when it was still just 20 yds.

  18. What’s crazy is that at 92-93%, any 2-point conversion rate over half of that, about 46.5%, and believe this year it is 53%, I believe, teams should be going for 2 every single time.

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