May 19, 2015

NFL Moves PAT Kicks Back to 15-Yard Line: The NFL changed a crucial rule for the 2015 season. Extra points are no longer going to be automatic: In 2015, instead of kicking an extra point from the two-yard line, teams will be forced to kick from the 15-yard line. And the defending team will be allowed to score two points if it grabs possession of the ball and takes it back the other way. According to Lindsay Jones of USA Today, only two teams voted against the new rule, which is only in effect for the 2015 season.

posted by rcade to football at 08:19 PM - 16 comments

Washington and Oakland voted against this. Sebastian Janikowski hasn't missed a PAT since Dubya was President; Kai Forbath, Graham Gano, and Shaun Suisham combined to miss five in time.

posted by Etrigan at 09:13 PM on May 19

Well, there goes the two-point conversion! The conversion rate for those from the 15 will be almost nil, and the chance of the other team getting two on a botched pass play...

Why bother? (Unless you absolutely had to...)

posted by grum@work at 09:47 PM on May 19

The CFL made a similar rule change earlier this year, pushing back points-after by 20 yards. But what's interesting (and to grum's point) is that they've pushed UP two-point conversions by two yards. The goal was to reduce the single-point success rate and encourage more two-point conversions.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:54 PM on May 19

Well, there goes the two-point conversion! The conversion rate for those from the 15 will be almost nil

The line of scrimmage for the 2-point conversion attempt will remain at the 2 yard line. Given game situations and especially weather conditions (wind, rain, snow), the number of 2-point attempts might actually increase. A proposal to move the 2-point line to the 1 was defeated.

posted by Howard_T at 11:16 PM on May 19

Okay, if they've left the two-point conversion attempt at the 2-yard line, then I applaud the NFL for the change.

posted by grum@work at 08:21 AM on May 20

In the next Pats-Ravens game, the Pats line up for a PAT kick at the 15, then sub in 6 guards and tackles, all of whom are declared eligible, and move up to the 2 yd. line for what looks like an old fashioned PAT kick. Harbaugh howls.

Before the ball is snapped, the Pats declare the guards and tackles ineligible and do a direct snap to the kicker, who runs it in behind the holder's lead block.

After the next TD, the Pats line up at the 15 for a PAT, declare the long snapper eligible, and the holder throws to him for a 2 pt. conversion. Ravens say that a PAT play from the 15 should only be good for one point. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver happens to be at the game and says that scoring a conversion from that far out should really be worth 3 points.

After the game, it is revealed that Kraft's IP attorneys have gained exclusive rights to the usage of the term "PAT" in NFL games. Goodell has to pay Kraft 1 million to license the usage of the term after a touchdown is scored.

posted by beaverboard at 08:30 AM on May 20

Two point conversion rates have averaged around 45-50% over time. So effectively - an average of around 0.9-1 pt per try. Who knows if that scales at all - if NFL offences spend more time going for two-point conversions, presumable defenses will prepare more for them.

30-39 yard field goal (this is 33 so perhaps consider this a lower bound) here. Most kickers make at least 85% of them. If we assume this holds for extra points, then we're looking at .85-1 pt per try.

So we're looking at somewhere around a wash in terms of points per attempt at this point which is exciting.

I wonder if the Bears, who went 5/5 on two-point conversions last year and whose kicker only made 66.7% of field goals from 30-39 yards, might consider becoming two-point specialists. I also wonder if teams might employ a Tebow-esque player who might push their efficacy on two-pointers to 60-70% and capitalize on a gap in probabilities that could open up if you make 1.2-1.4pts per attempt.

Chances are, old habits will die hard, but this could be an exciting rule change.

posted by dfleming at 08:38 AM on May 20

In prior years, were there any "fake" PAT attempts, turned into two-point conversions? Will that number drop moving the PAT back to the 15?

posted by opel70 at 08:56 AM on May 20

I assume if a team lines up for the PAT and the defense jumps offside, that the only option is to take a 5-yard penalty to move up the kick to the 10 yard-line (as opposed to somehow electing to take a half-the-distance penalty and go for 2 from the one)?

posted by holden at 09:09 AM on May 20

In the next Pats-Ravens game . . .

Needed a Flutie dropkick.

posted by yerfatma at 09:19 AM on May 20

Yes, but everything needs a Flutie dropkick.

posted by Etrigan at 08:09 PM on May 20

The 2 point conversion rate is almost 48%. I would think if you are a bad team(Tampa, Cleveland, Oakland), you go for 2 every time. If you can score on anywhere over 50%, you as a team will be scoring more points. Chip Kelly, have at it.

posted by Debo270 at 01:12 PM on May 21

The field goal percentages for the middle of the field between 30-35 yards was 97.5% last year. Extra pts were 99.6. Not much drop off.

posted by Debo270 at 01:14 PM on May 21

My question is this. If a player takes a celebration penalty, will it now be an extra point snapped at the 30(47 yarder) or will it still be assessed on the kickoff?

posted by Debo270 at 01:47 PM on May 21

If the defense commits a penalty on a PAT attempt (say, mistiming the snap and jumping offside), the offense can accept a yardage penalty and re-kick from a closer distance... or they can take a half-the-distance and attempt a 2pc from the one.

This rule change gives big running quarterbacks a little more value. People like... Tim Tebow.

I never thought the "Tebow Rule" would be an actual NFL rules change. I assumed it would be an axiom shared among talent scouts warning against homeschooled players from rural Florida.

posted by toxic at 12:26 AM on May 22

I don't think it will make much difference. The 15 yard line is still just a 32 yard chip shot which is pretty automatic for an NFL kicker.

posted by JohnSoCal at 05:12 PM on May 23

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