NFL eliminates unnecessary PATs, two-point conversions after walk-off touchdowns

Say goodbye to awkward extra points and half-hearted kneel downs that come after walk-off touchdowns. At the annual league meetings this week, the NFL eliminated PATs and two-point conversions that were required after game-winning touchdowns scored with no time remaining. Finally, games will simply end after walk-off touchdowns.

The exact rule, via NFL.com:

By Competition Committee; Eliminates the requirement that a team who scores a winning touchdown at the end of regulation of a game to kick the extra point or go for two-point conversion.

The change comes after the Minneapolis Miracle highlighted, once again, just how how pointless those PATs are. In January, the Vikings shocked the Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs when Case Keenum's prayer was answered by Stefon Diggs, who scored a 61-yard, go-ahead touchdown as time expired to send the Vikings to the NFC title game. Chaos ensued as the Vikings celebrated in their home stadium while the Saints got the hell off the field. The only problem? Even though the game was settled, the Vikings were required to attempt an extra point or a two-point conversion.

A lengthy delay followed. Saints players had to make their way back onto the field while Keenum passed the time by leading a "Skol" chant.

As you can see in the video above, Saints punter Thomas Morstead was actually forced to line up on defense. The Vikings proceeded to kneel on the ball to end the game instead of trying to add on another point or two.

Really, the only way this rule will end up having a meaningful impact is if a playoff tiebreaker comes down to point differential and the difference between the two teams is one or two points, which seems unlikely given just how far down point differential is on the list of tiebreakers. Gamblers might take issue with the new rules, but it's worth noting that under the old rules, most teams would likely choose to do what the Vikings did and simply kneel on the final play. 

In other words, we finally have a rule change that everyone can get behind.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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