The NFL wanted to make the extra point mean something, so before the 2015 season it moved the PAT back from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line. The desired effect has taken hold, as the PAT is no longer an automatic kick and that was no better on display than this past weekend.
Week 13 of the NFL season isn’t fully finished, but it already holds a dubious mark. That’s because there have been nine, yes NINE, missed extra points this week:
There have been more missed @NFL extra points today (9) than all of 2014 (8).
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) December 6, 2015
In fact, there’s now been over six times as many missed extra points as last year:
There have been 57 missed extra points in the NFL this season. There were 8 missed extra points in the NFL last season.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) December 7, 2015
Clearly there is no longer an automatic feel to the extra point, but there is also this little wrinkle that came in to play for the first time on Sunday — the two-point return.
With the extra point moved back 13 yards to the 15-yard line, the NFL competition committee also changed the rule on returning extra points and allowed the defense to be able to score two points on a return.
It hadn’t come in to play until Sunday though, as the New Orleans Saints became the first team to score a defensive two-point conversion. Kevin Williams blocked a Carolina extra point and rookie Stephone Anthony took the blocked kick 80 yards to the end zone for an extra two points for the Saints.
A team has never blocked an extra point and taken it back to the house for two points.
— NFL (@NFL) December 6, 2015
It wasn’t the only crazy kicking moment of Week 13 though, as the Chiefs-Raiders contest provided that. Sebastian Janikowski and Cairo Santos combined to miss three-straight extra points for the first time in NFL history.
Other missed extra points came from Nick Novak of the Texans, Dan Carpenter of the Bills, and Jason Myers of the Jaguars, who missed two of them. Phil Dawson of the 49ers had an extra point attempt blocked, but not returned.
What was once the automatic trip to the fridge or concession stand is proving to not be so, which is exactly what the NFL wanted. Only eight teams have been perfect from the new extra point distance on the season.