Almost Automatic


Posted on May 20th, by Rob Scichili in All, NFL. No Comments

OK, so the NFL wanted to add some intrigue and drama (if that’s possible) to the extra point after a touchdown. I wouldn’t call it that dramatic, but a new change should make it interesting, at least.

NFL owners voted 30-2 in favor of a change to the extra point rule, pushing the line of scrimmage on a PAT back to the 15-yard line (creating basically a 32-yard kick). The two-point conversion will stay at the 2-yard line. The play will also be “live,” meaning that the defending team can return a blocked kick or fumble back for two points.

falcons-kicker-matt-bryant-kicks-extra-point-against-ramsWashington and Oakland were the only two teams to vote no, giving us all yet another reason to root against them.

The reason for the change is simple, really – NFL kickers simply do not miss extra points. They’ve converted at least 98 percent of PATs since 2000, and over 99 percent over the last four seasons. Think this will make things any different? I doubt it. There were 41 field goals taken in the NFL last year of exactly 32 yards. Thirty-nine of them were good. Over the last five seasons, 32-yard field goals have been converted 92.8 percent of the time.

Some think the change is dumb and hasn’t accomplished anything. Others feel it will open up more opportunity for injury for the offensive line. One way or another, they’ll give it a whirl and find out.

I’m not ready to completely change the game, but it is clear that some would love to see the PAT taken out of the game and everyone be forced to go for two points every time.

Kraftwork

Hate New England’s football team or not, like owner Robert Kraft or not, you have to respect the owner of the Patriots.

kraftx-inset-communityKraft came out yesterday and basically fell on the sword, accepting a tough sentence (two draft picks and a $1 million fine) for the good of the NFL and its 32 teams.

Al Davis surely is rolling over in his grave.

This fight had the makings of lawyers squaring off for weeks, if not months. It was unprecedented and had the potential to set a new bar on doling out team penalties. Instead, Kraft chose to end the process, and “the rhetoric,” in his words.

Patriot fans are certainly unhappy about this. But what they fail to recognize is the solid leadership that they have with Kraft. He came into the league 21 years ago and has forged an identity of a true builder instead of a maverick doing it his way.

Kraft’s fight is over before it ever really began. The same cannot be said about Tom Brady, who’s appeal of a four-game suspension will continue into the summer. My money is still on that fourth game (at Dallas) eventually being taken off Brady’s punishment; money always wins out and the TV execs have plenty riding on a Brady appearance at Dallas coming out of this circus (and another Super Bowl win).

Rob Scichili


Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks, MLB.com, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.





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