Roger Goodell: NFL May Abolish Extra Point

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 21, 2014


NFL commissioner and Gridiron Godfather Roger Goodell told the NFL Network today that the league may abolish the extra point.

What do you think?

We do agree it's become an archaic and vestigal scoring organ: it's fairly useless and uneccessary in today's game, in other words. NFL kickers are so effective these days that they missed just five extra points all year: 1,262 of 1,267 (.996).

Where's the drama or the necessity in sports for an action that converts successfully nearly 100 percent of the time?

We noted the greatly expanded impact kickers have on scoring in the NFL just last month, writing that "no performers in pro football have advanced more dramatically over the last several decades than the place-kicking specialists ... Today, kickers are big-legged, highly proficient, soccer-style specialists. They do nothing but eat, kick and make baby kickers."

Consider that in 1948, the year with the highest league-wide scoring average before 2013, kickers hit just 40.9 percent of field goal attempts; in 2013, they converted a gaudy 86.5 percent of attempts.

In 1948, 4.8 percent of all scoring came from field goals; in 2013 it was 21.6 percent.

Kickers play too just prominent a role in today's NFL.

So anything that reduces their role is probably a good thing for the sport. But we don't like the idea of the NFL abolishing a scoring method from above. We still like the strategy involved with the current format of both 1-point and 2-point conversions.

But we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, Goodell seems intent on tinkering with a sport that was already pretty close to perfect before he took over as commissioner. And that tinkering is not going well for him.

Sometimes it's best just to leave well enough alone. The trusty old extra point may be one of those issues.

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