NFL Approves Changes to PAT, Moves Extra Point Back to 15-Yard Line

By Vincent Frank

National Football League owners approved a competition committee proposal to move PAT attempts back to the 15-yard line. The vote took place during owners’ meetings in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The vote passed 30-2 with Washington and Oakland going away from the majority.

While the rule change will still keep two-point attempts at the two-yard line, defenses now have the capability to return missed conversions for a score, which will count as two points.

If the offense commits a penalty from the two-yard line in a two-point attempt, it has the option of marking off (five or ten yards depending on the penalty) from the 17 and then going for one. If a defensive team commits a penalty on an extra-point attempt, the offensive team will have an opportunity to go for two from the one.

Remember, the NFL experimented with pushing the PAT back during the 2014 preseason. At that time, it was received well by most teams.

It remains to be seen just how much this will change the philosophy of teams heading into the 2015 campaign. They will have the choice of either going for one point in what amounts to a 32-yard field goal or attempting an additional point from the two-yard line. It will definitely be interesting to see how this is enacted by teams during the preseason. That could act as a precursor to widespread use during the regular year.

From a micro perspective, I am intrigued to see what Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles do. A recent report suggests that Tim Tebow could have a role in the team’s offense. If so, will it be as a specialist on two-point attempts?

We can also assume that teams with below-average kickers will decide to go for two more often than others.

It’s the first change to the league’s scoring system since it added the two-point conversion attempt back in 1994.

Photo: USA Today Sports