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NFL Rules Change: Extra Point Moved To 15-Yard Line

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The NFL owners have voted to change the rules for the point after touchdown. Hear what Rick Smith had to say on the subject at the NFL owners meetings in San Francisco.

Try to kick the ball between my thumbs.
Try to kick the ball between my thumbs.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL owners met at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco this week, and they voted to change a rule that has been in place for 103 years.

The San Jose Mercury News reports:

SAN FRANCISCO -- NFL owners voted Tuesday to have teams snap the ball from the 15-yard line on extra-point attempts and to allow defenses the opportunity to score.

A play which Houston Texans general manager and competition committee member Rick Smith called "almost ceremonial'' in its inevitability will in theory be able to generate some interest.

"Our hope is that what we've done is added some skill to the play and we'll see an increase in attempts to go for two,'' Smith said at the NFL owners spring meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Two-point attempts will still start at the 2-yard line, but the NFL will adopt the college rule which allows the defensive team to score two points should it cross the other goal line after either blocking a kick or scoring against a two-point try.

In both instances, the defense would be awarded two points.

From the 15-yard line, a conversion attempt would be from 32 or 33 yards, still a high-percentage kick but far from the success rate of more than 99 percent in recent years.

During the 2014 exhibition season, the NFL experimented with attempts from the 15-yard line for two weeks and the conversion rate was 94.3 percent as opposed to 99.5 percent when the ball was snapped from the 2-yard line.

Raiders place-kicker Sebastian Janikowski has converted 99.4 percent of his extra-point attempts since 2000 (482 for 485) and 90.8 of his field-goal attempts between 30 and 39 yards.

According to ESPN stats and information, 49ers place-kicker Phil Dawson has been the NFL's most accurate kicker from 32 or 33 yards since 2001, converting all of his 28 attempts.

The proposal recommended by the competition committee passed by a 30-2 margin, with the only no votes coming from the Raiders and Washington. Smith said his understanding was that both teams wanted the extra-point rule to change, but were interested in other proposals.

One of the proposals, pushed by the Philadelphia Eagles, would have had the ball placed at the 1-yard line on two-point attempts. Smith said the committee felt there was a chance that rule would virtually eliminate extra-point attempts.

Under the new rule, teams will be allowed to change their mind as to their intent in the event of a penalty.

This is a pretty interesting change to the game that may have teams going for more 2-point attempts.  It's also great that the defense will get 2 points if they take the ball the other way, the same as it is in college and high school football.  I bet J.J. Watt is licking his chops at the potential opportunities!

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