So the NFL decided to make games more exciting or something. The owners approved a rule change that will move extra point attempts from the two-yard line to the 15-yard line, making the PAT a 33-yard kick instead of the gimme 19-yarder it has been. Defenses can also return a blocked kick or turnover for two points like college teams can.
My reaction? Yuck, at least to the longer kick.
If the league is looking to add more intrigue, you don't do it by having a longer kick.
Now kickers have to hit it from 33 yards to get one point while in other situations, a team gets three points for a 19-yarder. That doesn't seem to make sense.
Now, the math says teams should go for two points more often. If a team goes for two, they may do so from the two-yard line as always.
NumberFire's chief analyst Keith Goldner did the math and statistically it makes more sense to go for two with the extra point being from 33 yards.
For starters, there's an obvious drop in expected points from the 15-yard line as opposed to the 2. Per Mr. Goldner's math, while the old extra point had a success rate of 99.7%, this new one has one of roughly 93.58%. In other words, the drop in expected points on an extra point, given the rule change, is 0.06 points. Two-point conversions are successful roughly 48% of the time they're run. Because you're getting two points with a successful conversion, the expected point total that comes from a two-point try is .960, which is actually higher than what we'd expect from an extra point try from the 15-yard line.
To put it simply, going for two, under these new rules, is probably smarter.
Will this happen? Absolutely not. The numbers still say a 33-yard extra point is almost automatic, as the success rate is still over 93 percent. But coaches will not risk losing out on the one to go for two.
If the league were really interested in making things more interesting, this is what it should have done -- it should adopt what Pete Carroll wanted when it was discussed back in March.
Our idea for the extra point: -Automatic 7pts for a TD -Mandatory try from the 2 for 1pt -Defense can score 1pt by returning a fumble or INT— Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) March 25, 2015
There is the fun of a play at the two like the two-point attempt, but there is no risk. There are already seven points on the board.
If the goal was to take a meaningless play out of the game, then the league should have gone the NFL Blitz route -- give teams to take the automatic seven points for a touchdown or take six and go for two -- no PAT kick.
The new rule for extra points could benefit the Cardinals a little bit.
With PATs moving back & ability to return blocked ones, worth noting AZ w NFL-best 19 FG blocks since '08 pic.twitter.com/yhd6feEd8Y— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) May 20, 2015
Are you more intrigued by the longer kick?