Extra Points: Thoughts on eliminating football’s PAT




Recently, my favorite “non-profit organization” sponsor Roger Goodell made the bold proposal to remove the extra-point and change the touchdown to 7 points. The option will be given to teams for a 1-point conversion run/pass play (substituting the 2-point conversion).

The extra-point! C’mon Goodell! Oh, the audacity you have to make such statements! The extra-point is oh-so engraved within our hearts as being… nothing.

So he got me. The statistics speak for themselves. 5 missed PATs out of a whopping 1,200…but what does that dictate for the fate of kickers? Less field time? Less pay? Could he take a different approach?

PATs serve no purpose other than “putting the bullet in the wound”, in all legitimacy. NFL kickers are prepared to face kicks that exceed 50 yards; what is a 20-yard kick to them? They’re not difficult… that much is evident. I mean, c’mon guys- Chad Ochocinco made one! As for the .4% of PATs missed, it’s safe to say that there were significant variables playing a role in those disappointments, such as extreme weather resulting in pre-kick wipeouts.

With the decreased field-time kickers would face with this implementation, how much would the demand in the kicker-market shift? Although kickers are faced with high-stress, game-winning 60+ yard field goals, they are limited with their roles. Without the PAT, are those (on-average) $800,000 salaries going to die down, or are kickers going to take up a duo-profession in intra-game aqua-mechanics as well?

So we’ve already acknowledged that with the elimination of the extra-point, we will see less of the good ol’ K, along with their decreased vitality. That being said- shouldn’t the field goal mean more?

My proposal is that if Goodell wishes to preserve kickers’ importance to the team, he needs to keep an inverse relationship with what he’s taking away and what he’s keeping. That could mean making a field-goal worth 4-5 points if kicked further than 59 yards (demanding higher skill). How’s that for interesting, Roger?

Another avenue Goodell could veer towards is one by which I was enlightened with by my school’s head football coach. His position is one I would deem as extremely interesting, and more importantly- practical. He feels that if Goodell wants “every play to be exciting”, why not move the extra-point from the pathetic 20 yards it challenges to 40 yards?

40 yards is another story. I mean, just ask Garrett Hartley.

In places like New England and Chicago, 40 yards isn’t any walk in the park. Despite the fact that it’s more than achievable for NFL kickers, we won’t be seeing nearly as many 7’s hit the board.

Not only is this upping the ante for excitement (you’re welcome, Roger), but it’s also upping the demand for consistently accurate and high-quality kickers; a new standard for kickers’ skill level will be set, and we will see a limited quantity of available kickers to supply the new standards.

Next to back-up quarterback, kickers have it in pretty comfy. Is this proposal by Goodell going to create a more exciting football game (where his intent lies), or is it simply drying up the kicker role? There’s no clear-cut answer when proposing such a notable change.

What do you think?

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