NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may have ruffled some feathers of the football-purists across the country when he acknowledged the possibility that the league could remove the extra point attempt after a touchdown is scored. On Monday, Goodell spoke with NFL Media’s Rich Eisen on “NFL Total Access” about a system that could be implemented in place of the, nearly automatic, extra point.
The proposal that was discussed would automatically award team’s with seven points for scoring a touchdown. If that team wanted to score an eighth point then they could run another play, (run or pass, just like a 2-point conversion today) in an attempt to receive that eighth point. However, if that team fails to convert then they will only receive six points for that touchdown.
In other words; after a touchdown, (6 points) the team can either elect to take the free-extra point, (7 points) or attempt a two-point conversion that we see today. If that team converts they will be awarded a total of eight points for the touchdown, if they fail then they will only be award six points.
Such a system would essentially provide the option to take the extra point without having to put fans through the boring process of watching a professional kicker attempt a nearly automatic 19-yard field goal. Goodell explained that he wants to add excitement to every play; meaning he wants to eliminate the boring plays that really don’t have any impact on the game. Since 2004, kickers have had a conversion rate of 99.1%.
In 2013, there were 1,267 extra points attempted and only five were missed. As a Detroit Lions fan I know that one of those misses were by David Akers, which was blocked, in the only extra point attempt in the “Snow Bowl” against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Goodell also raised the point of one possible issue; would this discourage coaches from choosing to go for two?
It’s not likely that this would have any impact on the decision of going for the eighth point or not. For the most part, the decision to go for a two-point conversion only occurs in certain situations, if the team is inclined to do so then they will continue to.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick had previously commented on the subject, saying that he would be in favor of not seeing it be an over 99% conversion rate. He went on to say that teams had position players doing the job when the extra point was first implemented, not specialists.
This idea could lead to a system where the extra point attempt is moved back to the 20-yard line, making it a 37-yard attempt instead of the 19-yard attempt that it currently is.
Personally, I am in favor with the idea of giving coaches the choice to take the touchdown as seven points or gamble in an attempt to make it worth eight, failure to convert only puts six points on the board.
Please, feel free to express your opinion on this idea or suggest another system that could be implemented.