The Washington Post

NFL’s preseason experiment with longer extra point ends with eight misses

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker executes one of the NFL’s more mundane tasks — the extra point — against the Cowboys on Saturday. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

The NFL’s preseason experiment with a longer extra point is over. The league goes back to standard extra points for the remainder of the preseason and for the regular season after making things more difficult for kickers in the first half of the preseason.

Place kickers league-wide missed eight extra points in 33 preseason games–the Hall of Fame Game and the first two weeks with full preseason slates — during the experiment, in which the ball was placed at the 15-yard line for what became 33-yard extra points. Kickers went 133 for 141, a success rate of 94.3 percent.

The experiment was an attempt to put a little bit of drama back into one of the most automatic plays in all of sports. Kickers league-wide missed only five extra points during the 2013 regular season, going 1,262 for 1,267 for a 99.6 percent conversion rate.

Two-point conversion attempts continued to come from the 2-yard line during the preseason experiment.

“I didn’t think much of it when it was suggested,” New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said at a news conference Wednesday. “There are some ways to change that part of it if the intent is to make it more exciting. … I think you have to be aware of the fact that it’s a 33-yard field goal in November when the wind’s blowing and it’s snowing here and … in Miami it’s 75 degrees. It’s a little different in different parts of the country. You do have to be aware of that. I would say probably the ball will stay at the 2[-yard line for] extra points. But if you really want to make it interesting put it at the 1[-yard line].”

That suggestion by Coughlin also has been made by others, with the thinking being that coaches would be tempted to try for two-point conversions more often if the ball is placed a yard closer to the goal line.

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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