The NFL season will soon be upon us, and I thought I would take some time to make a suggestion. I think the most boring play in the NFL is the Point After Touchdown (PAT), or as it is more commonly known, the extra point. Maybe back in the days of the goal posts at the goal line, and the straight ahead kickers, this play was relevant, but it no longer is. For the 2012 regular season, in the entire league, only 6 PATs were missed. That is a 99.51% rate of success. The play is a waste of time and effort. Here is my suggested rule change to eliminate this boring play, and add some spice to the game.
Make all touchdowns 7 points. Simple start. Every time there is a touchdown, it counts for 7 points.
Allow the scoring team a chance at an extra point. NOT a kicked point, but rather a play, like the present two-point conversion. If the team wishes to make an attempt, the ball would be placed at the 2 yard line. If they are successful in putting the ball in the end zone, then they get an 8th point for the touchdown.
If the attempt fails, then the defending team gets a point. Effectively this renders the original touch down worth 6 points, but I don’t like any system that takes points off the board. I don’t think the person who scored the touchdown should have their points statistic altered by a play for which they might not even be on the field. Rather, reward the defending team with a point.
And, for one more fun twist…
If the defending team runs the missed attempt back to the other end zone, they get an ADDITIONAL point. This would come into play if there were a fumble, or interception. If the defending team could run the ball the length of the field, they would essentially get two points – one for stopping the play, and another for running it back.
This plan would save time. In the vast majority of game situations, the scoring team would take their 7 and move on. No extra play needs to be run. When there is an attempt, it would be something truly meaningful and exciting, because points would be at stake.
There are a few other wrinkles to work out, such as how the team would signal that they want an attempt, whether the play is a timed play, who gets credit for the stopped point, etc. But, this plan would eliminate some seriously boring plays from the game.
If anyone out there knows the email address of Roger Goodell , or anyone on the competition committee, please forward this on to them. Maybe we can do something in time for the 2014 season.
What happens if the converting team loses possession and then a safety occurs by a) the defending team gaining possession and then being tackled after retreating into the end zone or b) the defending team knocks the ball out of bounds in their end zone?
I’ll award you two gold stars if you can tell me what the outcome of those scenarios is under current NFL rules.
I forgot to say – without looking it up.
Like I said, there are many wrinkles to my proposal that would need to be worked out. I have no idea what would happen in the scenario you posted.
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