Last season, NFL kickers successfully converted 99.6 percent of their extra point attempts. It’s become so automatic that the NFL Competition Committee is considering making changes to add difficulty to the extra point attempt, and hence create more excitement.
One idea the NFL may experiment with this preseason is to place the ball at the 25-yard line for extra point attempts rather than the 2-yard line, where it’s currently positioned. Because of the placement of the ball when kicked, that works out to the equivalent of a 42-yard field goal. For reference, last season saw 83 percent of field goal attempts between 40 and 49 yards split the uprights, so a 42 yard extra point attempt certainly would not be a gimme.
Although it has its pros and cons, I think the change would be a good one. Rather than heading off to the kitchen to make a sandwich following a touchdown, fans would be velcroed to their seats to see the ensuing extra point attempt. An extra point would suddenly vault in importance. In a close game, a missed extra point has the potential to quickly swing momentum in the other direction. A missed or made extra point would invariably lift a team to victory, or be the chomp in the ass that sinks them. As an entire concept, it would kick the drama meter up an unmitigated notch.
American football is firmly entrenched as the number one sport in America, so the NFL has to be careful about making rash changes, but something has to be done about the lifeless and stale state of the extra point attempt as it currently exists. A 42-yard extra point is as energizing as any resolution I’ve heard.
As always, run to daylight.