The most automatic play in football might be coming to an end. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Monday that the league is considering a proposal to eliminate extra points.
"The extra point is almost automatic," Goodell said, via NFL.com. "I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd. So it's a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play."
Goodell's right about the missed extra points. There were only five missed all season and four of those were blocked. But that begs the question, what would the NFL do to replace extra points?
"There's one proposal in particular that I've heard about," Goodell said. "It's automatic that you get seven points when you score a touchdown, but you could potentially go for an eighth point, either by running or passing the ball, so if you fail, you go back to six."
Basically, under this proposal, you'd get seven points for a touchdown unless you decide you want an eighth point. If you go for the eighth point and fail, you'd only get six points for the score.
Someone who's probably on board with this proposal is Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who said earlier this month that extra points were becoming too easy.
"I would be in favor of not seeing it be an over 99 percent conversion rate," Belichick said. "It's virtually automatic. That's just not the way the extra point was put into the game. It was an extra point that you actually had to execute and it was executed by players who were not specialists, they were position players. It was a lot harder for them to do... I don't think that's really a very exciting play because it's so automatic."
Belichick didn't say at the time if he wanted to see the extra point replaced or eliminated altogether.
The top-17 scorers in the NFL this season were all kickers. If extra points had been eliminated in 2013, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles would have tied Ravens kicker
Extra points are rarely exciting, but sometimes they are. In a 2003 game, New Orleans was trailing Jacksonville 20-13 with seven seconds left. The Saints scored on an improbable 75-yard, three-lateral pass play to cut the Jaguars lead to 20-19, but kicker John Carney missed the extra point with no time remaining, and Jacksonville escaped with a regulation-time victory.