FanDuel - WFBC

November 22, 2012

Cole: Football Should Eliminate the PAT: Yahoo's Jason Cole believes the NFL should get rid of the point-after-touchdown kick: "Since the start of the 2009 season, all but 22 of 3,186 extra points have been converted, according to Elias Sports Bureau. That's 99.3 percent. Furthermore, of the 22 conversion kicks that have been missed, only three (all of them in the 2010 season) had any impact on the final outcome of the game. That's three out of 672 games."

posted by rcade to football at 01:58 PM - 23 comments

That's three out of 672 games.

Still, it has made a difference on occasion. And it keeps the 2-point conversion a viable option/gamble late in a close game. (Grum, you got any stats on how often the 2-point conversion made a difference?)

To make it more interesting, though, football might go back to its rugby roots and make the kickers kick from a point perpendicular to the goal line from where the runner crossed the line or the receiver caught the ball. The sharper angles would certainly make it more of a challenge and less of a sure thing.

posted by billinnagoya at 05:13 PM on November 22

I remember a computer football game I had on my PC back in the early '90s where PATs were automatic, so you scored 7 but had the option to take 6 and go for 2. I wouldn't mind that being the rule, but I really like billinnagoya's idea of basing the PAT on where the TD was scored.

posted by Etrigan at 07:03 PM on November 22

(Grum, you got any stats on how often the 2-point conversion made a difference?)

Oof. That's pretty much a game-by-game examination.

I can tell you that for 2011-12 season, there were 24 two-point conversions made for the entire season:

The Giants had the most (4) and none of them made any difference in the outcome. Either the Giants lost, or they won by a much larger margin than one or two points (the points were in the middle of the game, and they scored much more later), or they would have won without the one or two point conversion (they took the lead on the touchdown, and the opposition didn't score after that).

The problem is that there isn't anything on the reference site for MISSED two-point conversions. Those would be much more interesting to scope, as there must have been a few games each year where a team needed the two-point conversion to tie, and failed.

posted by grum@work at 07:51 PM on November 22

Get rid of kicking altogether. (I have said this each year since I joined this site).

posted by dyams at 09:15 PM on November 22

So you want to take the "foot" out of football entirely?

I mean, unless....

*wavy hand motions*

Imagine Ndamukong Suh stomping on a quarterback's junk forever....

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:22 PM on November 22

Hmmm ...

Ndamukong Suh
He must stomp your QB's junk
Like a Broadway show

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:36 PM on November 22

Tom Brady's package
Smashed and destroyed by one man
Ndamukong Suh

With fury and scorn
Ndamukong Suh dances
On Romo's johnson

posted by grum@work at 12:28 AM on November 23

Detailed proceedings for each of the five years have already appeared in the pages of this journal during those years.


Thanks, Grum. I knew you would come up with some statistics. And you are right, the data concerning the missed two-point conversions would surely be more interesting to look at.


The original article calls for making the PAT automatic unless the team opts to go for the two-pointer. Such a rule in my mind eliminates the possibility for a fake kick turned into a 2-point conversion play--like the fake field goal attempt or punt turned into a passing play. There may be too few cases of such a play to make it worth talking about, but it is certainly interesting to have it as an option.

posted by billinnagoya at 02:00 AM on November 23

Detailed proceedings for each of the five years have already appeared in the pages of this journal during those years.

Don't know where that line came from in my last post. Please ignore it. I meant to highlight this one:

Oof. That's pretty much a game-by-game examination.

posted by billinnagoya at 02:17 AM on November 23

Lots of rule changes make differences to games. I would guess the change to the force-out rule probably has influenced the outcome of more games than getting rid of the PAT would.

Is the potential to change the outcome of a few games worth the lack of entertainment value and risk of Gronk's broken forearm? I don't think so. PATs are boring, and almost anti-climatic.

I always liked the automatic-1, option to forgo the 1 and try for 2 concept.

posted by fabulon7 at 08:46 AM on November 23

Eliminating the PAT might make kickers and holders worse on field goals.

Given the 99.3 percent success rate, coaches already are choosing between taking the (nearly) automatic 1 or going for 2.

posted by rcade at 09:59 AM on November 23

Such a rule in my mind eliminates the possibility for a fake kick turned into a 2-point conversion play

In all my years of watching football, I don't think I've seen that happen in the NFL.
I've seen bad snaps turn into impromptu two-point conversions, but never where someone would think that 1 point would be okay (hence lining up for the kick and the defense believing it) and then switching to 2.

I guess if it was the last play of the game, and 1 point gets you a tie/overtime but 2 gets you the win. Other than the rare college football moment, it's hard to see when a coach would do that.
(And even in this case, they didn't fake the kick.)

posted by grum@work at 10:21 AM on November 23

It feels like a bad idea to remove such a good opportunity for doing something clever from the game. I understand that no one does it, but that speaks more to the coaching mindset than the game itself. I'd love to see a coach come in and do all of those Madden style trick plays and pull it off just for the ensuing meltdown by the former players and other Serious Men who commentate. It'll probably never happen, but why remove something that has the potential to produce moments like New Oreans' second-half-opener onside kick in the Super Bowl?

posted by feloniousmonk at 01:35 PM on November 23

I would love to see Andy Reid and the Eagles go completely insane on the last game of the season and empty the playbook of all the trick/gadget plays they've been holding on to all this time.

Double-reverse!
Flea-flicker!
On-side kicks!
Fake punts!
Hook and ladder!
Laterals on the kickoff!
Wildcat formation!
Two-point conversions on every touchdown, but always on a fake extra point!

(I choose Reid simply because it seems pretty obvious he's gonna get canned after the last game.)

posted by grum@work at 02:04 PM on November 23

I just wonder how many games have been won by one point where there is one team getting field goals as opposed to touchdowns? ie. a 7 to 6 game. seems to me thats why it is still used, a touchdown should be more than two field goals.

posted by ronchap48 at 03:13 PM on November 23

Just make the PAT less automatic by changing it to, say, a 40 or 45 yarder. With the probability reduced to something like 75%, coaches will go for the 2 pointer more often, and misses will factor into a lot more games = more moments of intense interest for the fan.

posted by rumple at 03:25 PM on November 23

Mandatory 2-point conversions is what I'd love to see. Or rumple's idea of a longer PAT making 2-pt more likely.

posted by jmd82 at 04:27 PM on November 23

I think Rumple's idea's a bit drastic, but a bit on target. The CFL puts the ball on the 5-yard line (albeit the goal posts are at the goal line, so it's a 12-yard kick). How about putting the ball at the 10, making it a 27-yard kick? It might not lower the success percentage much, but it would increase the chance for pulls or shanks to go wide.

posted by jjzucal at 05:44 PM on November 23

I used a combination of the NFL's site and one that provided percentages for the 2011 season. According to the NFL site, teams made 23 conversions (Detroit had 2). Using the percentages, the league went 23-of-36:

NYG 4-for-4, Denver 3-5, Detroit and N. Orleans 2-3, New Eng. 2-2, Carolina 2-3, Tampa 2-7, San Diego, San Fran and Balt 1-1, Buff, Chic and Wash 1-2.

posted by jjzucal at 06:04 PM on November 23

Tampa 2-7

They've got some work to do.

posted by grum@work at 09:20 PM on November 23

Such a rule in my mind eliminates the possibility for a fake kick turned into a 2-point conversion play

In all my years of watching football, I don't think I've seen that happen in the NFL.

Someone on Da Bears has been reading this thread. Just successfully pulled off a fake kick for a 2-point conversion.

posted by jmd82 at 02:06 PM on November 25

Saw that; nice work taking advantage of an overloaded blocking line.

posted by jjzucal at 02:19 PM on November 25

Tampa 2-7 // They've got some work to do.

1-for-2 so far. Looks like Greg Schiano reviewed last year's stats.

posted by jjzucal at 02:24 PM on November 25

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