Think way back to when the greatest sport in America was on the television last year. Do you remember when your favorite team scored that crazy-improbable touchdown? (If not, you’re a Buccaneers fan and this doesn’t apply). Try to remember what happened right after. You know, the 15 seconds when they show that skinny dude that kicks? That’s called an extra point, and the NFL decided to crank up the appeal.
The committee’s proposed the NFL team owners at the Spring League Meeting accepted set of rule changes. Among the most important changes is the PAT attempt being moved from the 2-yard-line to the 15-yard-line. This will lengthen extra-point kicks from 20 yards to 33 yards in hopes of making the play more exciting for fans. According to the NFL Network, 94.3% of 33-yard kicks were made when they experimented with the idea for two preseason weeks opposed to a 99.5% success rate with the old spot during the 2014 regular season. While that doesn’t sound like a huge change, it means over 11 times more gimme-kicks may be missed this year.
A few other rule changes were enacted by the owners. While two-point tries will stay two yards away, the defense will now have the ability to score two points off of a blocked kick or turnover on a two-point conversion. This could result in players charging harder at the kicker and a lot more collisions instead of the lackluster efforts we’re used to seeing. It is an interesting change with such a huge focus currently on player safety and reducing unnecessary contact.
The most insignificant rule change may be the most gratifying for Ravens fans. Any player wearing an eligible number (1-49, 80-89) may not report as ineligible and line up outside the tackle box. If they do, the team will be hit with a 5-yard illegal substitution penalty. This all comes after the Divisional Round matchup between the Ravens and Patriots in which New England worked around the rulebook to successfully perplex Baltimore’s secondary and pull off a 35-31 victory.
So what do you think? Will these changes be enough to keep your attention or will the PAT still be your chance to fetch snacks? Let me know in the comments below. If you ask me, I’m excited. It’s about time real football became more like NFL Street. Thanks for reading!
*Image Credit to Jim Rogash – Getty Images