NFL rule change: Extra point moved back, defenses can score

The life of a kicker just got a bit tougher. (USATSI)

The NFL changed a crucial rule for the 2015 season. Extra points are no longer going to be automatic and defenders are no longer going to look silly when they try to return an interception or fumble during a two-point conversion attempt.

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.

Despite a proposal to move the line of scrimmage for two-point conversions to the one-yard line, it will stay put at the two-yard line. 

According to Lindsay Jones of USA Today, only two teams voted against the new rule, which is only in effect for the 2015 season.

The change in rules should up the number of two-point conversions in 2015. Here's a very quick rundown, via Football Outsiders.

As expected, not all kickers were pleased with the new rule. Dan Carpenter of the Buffalo Bills, who coincidentally missed a PAT last season, is not a fan of the longer attempt.

One interesting aspect of the rule change is that it gives teams that play indoors an advantage over teams that play in places like Chicago, Green Bay, and Buffalo -- especially when December rolls around. An extra point at Soldier Field in December will probably have a higher degree of difficulty than an extra point kicked at Ford Field -- the Lions' indoor stadium.

Still, when taking a look at statistics from last season, NFL teams connected on over 99 percent of their extra points. For the sake of comparison, on field goal attempts ranging from 30-39 yards (the new PAT is going to measure at 33 yards), kickers hit on 90 percent of their tries. 

And here are some more specific statistics on field goals that would now qualify as PATs, via Pro Football Focus.

In other words, kickers should still be able to be successful on extra points. And coaches should still be going for two points more frequently next year. And if you're not a fan of the new rule, well, it's only in effect for this season -- for now.

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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