Longer Extra Point Has Football Players Paying Attention
The NFL has implemented many new rules, one of which is making both football kickers and coaches think about their game plan for this 2015 season. The extra point has been engrained as a given for the many years it has been present in the sport, but that is changing as the League has changed this particular rule in an effort to make the game more competitive. This will increase the difficulty level for each team who simply take the extra point for granted.
The rule changed where the ball is snapped from, moving it from the 2-yard line all the way to the 15-yard line. What was once a 20 yard field goal has now become a whopping 33 yard field goal. Sure, an extra 13 yards so close to the posts shouldn’t be a problem for the veteran kickers, but it has proven to be a big task so far this 2015 preseason. The reason is being made quite clear, as Josh Brown, kicker for the New York Giants stated:
“In the past, when it was a 20-yarder, you can have a moment where you fade away. Anybody who says they haven’t is just lying to you. As good as we are, sure, you take it for granted. It’s like a layup. You should make it. I don’t think you can afford to do that anymore. We did it to ourselves, because we were so accurate.”
During the 2014 season only eight kickers missed the 20-yard extra point kick, or how many referred to it, the free point kick. With the ball being moved back to the 15-yard line, kickers now face a 33-yard kick, which shouldn’t be such a big issue for veteran players. Last season, only one kicker missed a 33-yard field-goal attempt, and in the last three seasons, only six were missed. This would give any team the confidence to say that the change won’t affect them.
However, only during the first two weeks of the 2015 preseason there have already been five extra-point kicks being missed; this already overshadows the previous stats. As such, coaches and kickers have come to the conclusion that they must look at this situation with a different perspective, and are hard training their bodies and minds for future games. The NFL seems to have accomplished its goal of making football harder with such a simple move.