The NFL announced a number of rule changes at this week’s league meetings in Phoenix, but one issue which inspired a lively discussion has been tabled for a few weeks. According to Falcons president Rich McKay, who is the co-chairman of the competition committee, a number of ideas related to the extra point after touchdowns are being considered, and will likely be put to a vote in May.
Here are a few of the ideas that appear to be receiving serious consideration from the league:
- Placing the ball on the 1.5-yard line rather than the two-yard line, to encourage more frequent two-point tries.
- Moving the line of scrimmage for all extra-point attempts back to the 15-yard line.
- Moving the line of scrimmage for a PAT attempt back to the 15-yard line, unless the team wants to go for two, in which case the line of scrimmage would be the 1.5-yard line.
- Eliminating the extra-point kick entirely, requiring teams to run a play from scrimmage. My understanding of this proposal is that a touchdown would automatically be worth seven points, and a team could get the eighth point by converting the extra play from scrimmage.
- Allowing the defense to score when the ball is fumbled or intercepted on a two-point try, as in college football.
That last item could be implemented into a number of different solutions for the extra point, but the preceding proposals would create a variety of challenges and decisions for teams. In general, team owners are in favor of having the extra point become more of a football play, rather than the afterthought it has become as kicking accuracy has improved.
What do you think? Does it make more sense to move the line of scrimmage closer to the end zone, or further away? Should that line of scrimmage be the same whether a team intends to go for one point or two? Or are you in favor of abolishing the kicking aspect of the extra point entirely? Feel free to expand on your vote in the comments section below.