NFL fans: forget everything you think you know about scoring football. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the extra point may not be up and good for much longer.
“The extra point is almost automatic,” Goodell told NFL Media’s Rich Eisen on Monday’s edition of “NFL Total Access.” “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd (attempts). So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play.”
The extinction of the extra point—a part of merged-NFL football since 1970, according to The Sports Attic—comes in the wake of proposed scoring changes, alterations that will potentially change the game as most modern gridiron fans have always known it. Getting rid of the extra point would be the most substantial change to American football since the two-point conversion was introduced in 1994.
These recommendations would come by way of the NFL’s competitions committee, an eight-member body comprised of coaches and executives of the member teams; current representatives include Jeff Fisher (St. Louis Rams), Stephen Jones (Dallas Cowboys), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals), John Mara (New York Giants), Mark Murphy (Green Bay Packers), Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens), Rick Smith (Houston Texans), and Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers) with the Atlanta Falcons’ Rich McKay serving as chairman.
Some support the idea of increasing the value of a touch down to seven points, making the extra point actually automatic instead of practically so.
“There’s one proposal in particular that I’ve heard about,” Goodell went on. “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, so if you fail, you go back to six.”
Fox reminds us that at least 24 of 32 teams must approve any rule changes recommended by the competition committee.
Mike Florio of NBC Sports supports the idea of eliminating the extra point based on two factors.
While not entirely automatic, giving a team a seventh point upon scoring a touchdown wipes out several opportunities per game for unnecessary injury. Sure, the extra-point attempt doesn’t typically entail hard hitting. In 2012, however, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski broke his arm while blocking for an automatic PAT try.
The high success rate coupled with the injury risk outweighs the very slim drama of a possible miss. Far more significant is the removal from the game of the potential surprise two-point attempt from placekick formation. But that also happens very rarely.
What do you think of the proposed rule change eliminating the extra point from the NFL?