Today, NFL franchise owners ratified two rules which will have a very distinct impact on the way the game of football is played this coming Fall. The rules seek to make the game more exciting by changing the dynamics of how extra points will be converted and defended.
From the Associated Press:
The NFL is moving back extra-point kicks and allowing defenses to score on 2-point conversion turnovers.
The owners on Tuesday approved the competition committee’s proposal to snap the ball from the 15-yard line on PATs to make them more challenging. That will make them 33-yard kicks.
In recent seasons, kickers made more than 99 percent of the kicks with the ball snapped from the [two-yard line].
That proposal places the 2-point conversion at the 2, and allows the defense to return a turnover to the other end zone for the two points, similar to the college rule.
Wow, that’s not just a small change, guys. A pretty monumental one, with respect to the PAT actually. Seems like it’ll makes a solid, reliable kicker even more of a hot commodity across the NFL.
After all, by no means is a 33-yard field goal a guaranteed kick time after time, like the the extra point attempts we’ve grown accustomed to watching basically since forever. Inclination tells you that maybe this will make games a little tighter down the stretch scoring-wise over the long run, and it will be interesting to see what they do with respect to any ties arising.
Additionally, it seems, with the 2-point conversion taking place from the 2-yard line, the numbers 8 and 16 could very well become more synonymous with scoring a touchdown, rather than 7, 14, and so on, which is pretty wild for an American football fan to think about.
Obviously, we’ll get a look at the new rules – and any controversies they create – when the NFL preseason gets underway on Sunday, August 9th, when the Steelers host the Vikings.