BY SPNW Staff 11:00AM 03/27/2015

How would you change the NFL’s extra point?

There is a “clear sentiment” to change the extra-point rule, but no clear consensus on how to do it. Pete Carroll has an idea. Do you agree? Vote here.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wants to eliminate the kicker from the extra point. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

It seems that the most uneventful play in football (college or pro) is about to get a makeover, perhaps a radical one if Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has his way. According to NFL Competition Committee co-chair Rich McKay, there is a “clear sentiment” to change the extra point in time for the start of the 2015 season.

But there isn’t a clear consensus on how the PAT should be altered.

Some committee members want the PAT attempt moved back to the 15-yard line, a move that would supposedly encourage teams to go for two points. Others want the goal posts narrowed, and moved back. Still others, perhaps a majority, want defenses to be able to score.

“I think all teams pretty much said the same thing, ‘It’s time to make this play (defenses can score) a football play,’” McKay said. “And the way to make it a football play is No. 1: Allow the defense to score.”

Carroll advocated for that. He also wants the placekicker eliminated entirely. In lieu of the kicker, Carroll would like to see:

  • Automatic seven points for a touchdown.
  • Mandatory try for one point from the two-yard line.
  • One point to the defense for returning a fumble or interception.

In addition to Carroll’s proposal, the committee will consider the idea of letting teams decide if they want to kick an extra point from the 15-yard line or going for two points from the two-yard line.

The committee did not take a vote on re-doing the extra point at the owners’ meetings in Arizona this week, but probably will take one when the NFL holds its spring meetings in San Francisco in two months.

“I think in the next 30 days you will see the Competition Committee, in conjunction with a lot of coaches, develop a lot of alternatives and be ready to put something forward for potentially a vote in May,” McKay said.



  • jafabian

    If it ain’t broke. If anything, make the extra point like the NBA’s 3 point line. Get 3 points if you make it from 40 yards or more. Last thing they should do is make the goal posts narrow. Fans want to see more points, not more games where they’re decided on a missed field goal.

  • Kirkland

    In rugby, the conversion kick after a try (touchdown) is taken from a spot parallel to where the try was scored; e.g., if you score in the middle of the try zone, you kick from the middle of the field, and if you score near the sidelines, you kick from the near the sidelines. (You can move the spot of the kick backwards to give the kicker a better angle, of course.) To adapt this to football, try moving the kick to the hashmark closest to where the touchdown scorer crossed over the goal line. A little bit of an angle could create a bit more drama.


      I agree except I would say don ‘t use the hash mark. Score on the sideline, it’s going to be tough! Anyway, why do they call it a touchdown, why not a plane break?

      • Kirkland

        Way, way back in the old days (around the ’20s), football players *did* have to touch the ball down to the ground, rugby-syle, in order to score the touchdown points. They eventually changed the rule to just breaking the plane of the goal line, but kept the term “touchdown” for the scoring play.

  • Otto Greif

    I would make it worth .8 and change the two-point conversion to 1.7.

  • RadioGuy

    I would’ve gone with choices number 2, 3 AND 4 on the poll if I could, but chose giving the defense a chance to score on a failed PAT because it shouldn’t be whistled dead until the ball is downed or taken out of bounds, just like with any live play.

    BTW, thanks for that explanation of a conversion, Kirkland. I’ve been to a few rugby matches but don’t really understand the game and none of the home clubs (even OPSB) have ever done anything to explain it to onlookers. There’s never even a scoreboard so you at least know who’s leading. Looks like a great sport, though.

    • Kirkland

      Just realized: When the Hawks scored the “Fal Mary” touchdown, that made the score 13-12 Seattle. With the defense-scoring rule on conversion attempts, if the Packers had blocked the kick and returned it all the way, they win the game 14-13 … and imagine how the teams’ seasons could’ve turned on that one result?! The defense-scoring rule could be enough to create more interest in the play.

      You’re welcome, RG. The local rugby clubs are now doing more to teach the game to both fans and potential youth players, and they’re more open to explaining everything to newbies. Google “Seattle Saracens” (OPSB rebranded), “Serevi Rugby”, and local player Carly MacKinnon.

      • RadioGuy

        All I can say as a Packers fan about the Fail Mary play is that if M.D. Jennings had simply spiked the ball to the floor like a volleyball at the net, it was “game over.” BAD miscalculation on his part, but that’s football.

        FWIW, Kirkland, it would be wise for PNRFU clubs to create a generic sheet with a very basic explanation of rugby to pass out for free to onlookers. I was given one of those at one of the first cricket matches I ever attended at Fort Dent 20 years ago and it really helped.

        • Kirkland

          True about Jennings, but it’s still an interesting thought. At least the game ended the replacement red farce, which was so bad MAD Magazine parodied it.

          I’ll pass that flyer/sheet tip idea along to my rugby contacts. Thanks, RG!