League kicking around ideas to change PAT rules

League kicking around ideas to change PAT rules
January 21, 2014, 11:00 am
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When it comes to extra points in the NFL, what's the point?

That seems to be NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's thinking, as the league is apparently considering the idea of abandoning the traditional point-after touchdown kick.

“The extra point is almost automatic,” Goodell told the NFL Network. “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd. So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play. ... There’s one proposal in particular that I’ve heard about. It’s automatic that you get seven points when you score a touchdown, but you could potentially go for an eighth point, either by running or passing the ball." 

But there's a catch: Under this plan, if a team tries a conversion and fails, the touchdown would be worth only six points, not seven.

According to Pro Football Talk, this year NFL teams made 1,256 of 1,261 extra-point tries, a success rate of 99.6 percent. That indeed sounds pretty almost automatic. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is 68-for-68 in his two-year NFL career, and there has been just one missed extra-point in a Ravens game since 2008.

Goodell did note that one "unintended consequence" of any change could be teams' reluctance to try what is now a two-point conversion.

No such change will happen overnight. The topic first will be addressed by the Competition Committee, and if it ultimately gets its endorsement, such a change would have to be approved by the owners.

Still, Goodell's not wrong that the conversion doesn't add much drama. So expect he and the league to continue to kick around ideas about livening up that part of the game.