The NFL's quest to make extra points more meaningful and impactful has officially been approved by the league's owners:
The extra point rule for 2015 just changed. Snap for kick from the 15-yard line, 2-pt try stays at 2-yard line and defense can return.— Dean Blandino (@DeanBlandino) May 19, 2015
Essentially, extra points are now more difficult. Instead of snapping the ball from the 2-yard line and kicking a 20-yard extra point, teams will be snapping the ball from the 15-yard line for a 33-yard extra point (should they choose to kick, that is; going for two points will keep the ball at the usual spot at the 2-yard line). This is basically the setup that was used for two weeks in the preseason last year, and it yielded a total of eight misses in only 33 games. Considering there were only eight missed extra points in the entire 2014 regular season under the old rules, this could have a dramatic effect on games going forward.
It's also worth pointing out that the defense can now score two points if it's able to force a turnover and return the ball to the opposite end zone on two-point attempts. This rule has been in place in college, and I am a fan of this change. Instead of a two-point attempt being blown dead on an interception or a fumble, the defense can now try to score points of its own.
For the extra point change, I'm with the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, the only two teams that voted against this proposal, according to Mike Garafolo. I get that the NFL wants to make extra points have more meaning and be more difficult, but is this really necessary? Our Jeremy Reisman basically summed up my thoughts on the matter:
By making XPs more difficult, you're going to make them more valuable. Do you really want games won and lost by extra points? I do not.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) May 17, 2015
I also do not want games to be decided by extra points, and if the NFL really felt the need to move them back, the least they could have done was move two-point conversions up to the 1-yard line. I feel like that would have led to a lot more teams going for two points, and that would have been a lot more entertaining than watching extra points become more difficult for kickers.
What are your thoughts on these changes?