Roger Goodell, NFL Could Eliminate Extra Point

Roger Goodell
Roger Goodell
Andrew Weber USA TODAY Sports

Issues such as a shorter preseason or an extra Wildcard team have been on the NFL’s agenda in recent years, and that list got a little longer Monday.

During an interview with NFL Network, Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL could eliminate extra point attempts under the current system in favor of a different style of scoring system.

“The extra point is almost automatic,” Goodell said. “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd (attempts.) So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play.

“There’s one proposal in particular that I’ve heard about. It’s automatic that you get seven points when you score a touchdown, but you could potentially go for an eight point, either by running or passing the ball, so if you fail, you go back to six.”

According to the report, extra points have had a 99.1-percent success rate over the past decade, so it is as close to a sure thing as there is in the NFL today.

Requiring a post-touchdown scoring attempt has both its ups and downs, but the most glaring issue is the fact that the possibility of failing would deduct points could discourage teams from attempting the eight-point score.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick previously called extra points boring, arguing the same logic Goodell stated in the interview.

“I personally would love to see the kicking game remain as a very integral part of the game so that the kickoffs are returned and so that extra points are not over 99 percent converted,” he said. “That’s not what extra points were when they were initially put into the game back 80 years ago.

Only five extra-point attempts were missed during the 2013 regular season, and even the worst conversion rate was 98 percent. Overall, kickers went 1,256-for-1,261, good for a league-wise rate of 99.6 percent.

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Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.