NFL pushes back extra-point attempts to 15-yard line

New England Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski kicks an extra point after a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.
(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

The NFL loves ceremonies.

The NFL does not love ceremonial plays.

To that end, the NFL is giving up its biggest gimme play, the 99% effective extra-point kick. By a 30-2 vote Tuesday, the league’s owners approved moving the line of scrimmage on PATs to the 15-yard line -- making the kick 13 yards longer -- and adding an incentive for the defense. Under the new rule, defenses can return fumbled or intercepted two-point attempts for two points of their own.

“This isn’t an experiment,” said Houston Texans General Manager Rick Smith, a member of the competition committee. “This is a rule change and part of the game.”


The owners decided not to move the line of scrimmage on two-point conversions from the 2 to the 1, as one proposal suggested.

Moving extra-point kicks isn’t likely to have a dramatic effect on scoring. It makes them 33-yard attempts, and the conversion rate on those kicks during the last decade has been roughly 94%.

During the 2014 season, only seven teams didn’t convert on all of their extra-point attempts. The rule change was originally proposed by the NFL Competition Committee.

A rule change requires the approval of 24 of the 32 NFL team owners to go into effect.