Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 Aug 2014

Move Extra Points to the One

Mike Tanier's solution to the "XP are easy" problem: Move them to the 1-yard line, and more coaches will go for two, which will make the game more exciting.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 22 Aug 2014

23 comments, Last at 02 Aug 2015, 9:04pm by xiaozhengm


by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 1:12pm

Won't that make it too easy to get 2?

by Guido Merkens :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 1:30pm

If it makes it easier to get 2, then the average value of a TD will rise, which will make field goals relatively less valuable. That seems like a positive secondary outcome, in addition to not wasting time on 99.6% successful extra point kicks.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 3:24pm

It would also increase the importance of goal line defense, which would be great.Combine this with making a punt out of bounds a 15 yard penalty, or out to the 20, when the ball goes out past the 5, and we'd star seeing a lot more 4 down offense, which would also be great.

(edit) To add on, more four down offense would result in faster games, too. They really need to go in this direction.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 3:13pm

That Lions-Eagles snow game last year was loads of fun to watch (ignoring my rooting interest) for a lot of reasons, but both teams throwing their hands up and going for two every time and eschewing field goals was one of them.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 1:50pm

I wonder how many coaches would be still be so ridiculously risk averse, at least until they started losing a lot more close games, that they would still mostly kick PATs.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 3:11pm

I think it would be around half of them. If you asked this question 3-4 years ago, I would have said all 24-28 of the 32.

by tuluse :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 10:33pm

I would say around 28 right now. I only see Bellichick, Payton, and Rivera as coaches who would realize the value of it consistently.

by jtr :: Sat, 08/23/2014 - 5:09am

Chip Kelly would obviously take advantage as well. At Oregon he always had his PAT team line up in a swinging gate formation. They'd run a play from it if they liked the defensive front, or (most of the time) shift into a normal kicking formation. They only ran it once last year--it failed, but only because the rookie RT blew his assignment.
Anyways, the guy's got a whole trick-play-for-2 playbook and he certainly wouldn't ignore a boost to the percentage. And who the hell doesn't want to see swinging gate 2 point conversion attempts?

by tuluse :: Sun, 08/24/2014 - 3:17pm

Good point, and that brings us to 4 coaches.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 09/02/2014 - 12:30pm

I'm on the fence if McCarthy would or not. He's gone for it on fourth down in recent seasons when I expected he wouldn't. He ran a lot of 2-point conversions this preseason too, but that is easily viewed as just practicing them. I wouldn't be surprised if he would go for 2 from the 1 all the time, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he still kicked the PAT.

by pablohoney :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 2:20pm

Why even keep the extra point? I think the already suggested idea of giving teams the choice to either take an automatic 1 point, or go for 2, is perfect. But then again I'm for eliminating the place kicker all together.

by dryheat :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 3:47pm

I wholeheartedly agree. The miniscule chance of a PAT miss isn't worth the injury risk, and frankly, the viewer's boredom.

I might tweak that proposal for late in the 4th quarter, when a PAT would tie or win the game. Or I might not.

by Bernie :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 5:02pm

Any Patriots fans should be begging for this to happen. How many times has Brady converted the quarterback sneak on 4th &1? Isn't it something ridiculous like 50/52 or in the ballpark....so automatic that it was seen as a freak occurence when he was stopped twice in a row last year? And it's not like they're surprising teams with the call....Brady's just really good at converting it. The Pat's don't need another scoring advantage.

by Theo :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 6:23pm

Trust me, they are not plunging Brady in there after every touchdown.

by andrew :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 7:10pm

Methods I would like to see:

1 - Old NASL penalty kick style. One player gets ball at 50. Other team gets one player at goal line. Whistle blows, player has 30 seconds to get into the end zone.

2 - Mandatory Drop Kicks

3 - Give one extra point if kicker can hit the crossbar or goalpost and knock it in. Allow for this to be applied more than once should he hit more than one of them, for a maximum of four points.

by tuluse :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 10:34pm

Mandatory drop kicks would be so much fun.

by andrew :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 7:11pm

duplicate comment

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 10:21pm

In the words of Emil in Robocop, "I like it!" https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tUyYace8318

by Coaldale Joe :: Sun, 08/24/2014 - 1:14am

I think the scoring team should choose where they want to attempt the extra point(s) from. 1 pt for a kick from the current distance, or 2 points if you run or pass it in, 2 points if you make a 40 yard kick, 3 points for a 50 yard kick, etc.

by JoeyHarringtonReigns :: Sun, 08/24/2014 - 4:24pm

Stephen Davis would come out of retirement

by Ryan D. :: Tue, 09/02/2014 - 11:14am

Even as a Panthers fan, I'm pretty sure you meant Jerome Bettis, owner of the world's greatest stat line (5 carries, 1 yard, 3 touchdowns).


by xiaozhengm :: Sun, 08/02/2015 - 9:04pm