Today, the NFL owners approved a new rule to changing the extra point. The extra point will be moved to the 15-yard line and two-point conversion attempts at the two-yard line. The new rule also gives the defense a chance if they blocked the PAT or get a turnover that they can return the ball to the other end zone for two points. Orginially, the rule stated that if the defense blocked or committed a turnover that the ball and play would be ruled dead. This new rule was proposed by the NFL Competition Committee in which Rams head coach, Jeff Fisher, co-chairs.
NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said, “Teams could change their attempt decision if a penalty occurred. For instance if a team chose to go for two points and were called for an offensive penalty they could then decide to kick a 1-point try.”
The approved rule, which had a vote of 30-2, was one of three proposed rule changes. One proposal was brought forth by the New England Patriots, which had a similar plan, but didn’t allow the defense the ability to score. The Philadelphia Eagles also had a similar approach but wanted to have the ball moved to the 1-yard line for two-point conversions.
The NFL has been trying to change and make the extra point more exciting for the past couple of years. Last year during the first two preseason games, extra points were moved back to the 15-yard line. During the preseason games, a total of eight extra points out of 141 attempts were missed. This resulted in a success rate of 94.3%. With the change, the extra point is now at a total of 33 yards.
The NFL is hoping that the new rule will increase the entertainment value of the extra point or even hoping that coaches will go for two more frequently. I find it hard to believe that this rule change will increase the entertainment of the extra point because after all it is only one point. Yes, you will have more misses but at the same time a success rate of 94.3% doesn’t really make that much of a difference from the original success rate of 99.6% all for only one point. If the teams go for two more frequently, it now opens up the possibility of more injuries including your quarterback, running back, and other key offensive pieces including offensive linemen. I find it very interesting that the NFL is concerned with player safety but still want plays where the potential for getting hurt during games is elevated. We have seen the NFL constantly change rules including moving kickoffs up, so that it resulted in more touchbacks, which I think lessens the entertainment of kickoffs. So, now the NFL wants to open up the possibility of injury by having more plays where players can be exposed to the risk of injury. At the end of the day, it is only one extra point. It will be a little more exciting and create some misses but at what cost of losing key offensive pieces for only a little more excitement.
In other rule changes, NFL Insider Ian Rapport stated that the Redskins proposal to go from 90-man straight to a 53-man roster was not approved. I am glad this rule didn’t get approved. By having the current system, it allows coaches and scouts to effectively analyze the talents of the players on their roster.
These are the few things that came from the NFL owners meeting today; meanwhile, the Chargers, Rams, and Raiders fans await news about the Los Angeles expansion situation. According to St. Louis Post Dispatch writer Jim Thomas, the League is expected to move up relocation vote from March meetings in 2016. Exact dates on this relocation move up are not expected to be decided at this meeting, It is just a general agreement on move up.