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NFL would be wise to eliminate extra point kicks, create incentives for on-field "gambling"

The NFL extra point kick, basically considered automatic at this point, could be going the way of the dodo. It would be an excellent idea by the NFL, and they shouldn't stop there.

This guy would be affected. But eh.
This guy would be affected. But eh.
Jonathan Daniel

Morten Andersen is the all time leading scorer in the NFL, with 2,544 career points.

Of those, 849 are extra points. Not to purposely taking anything away from Mr. Andersen's astounding record, but a third of his points were essentially gimmes.

Why bring this up? Well, recently Emperor Commissioner Goodell has bandied about the idea of possibly taking away the extra point, and automatically giving it to the team scoring the touchdown.

The suggestion he mentioned works as follows:

  • Team scores touchdown
  • Team can automatically have extra point OR opt for two point conversion try
  • If you get it, you get 8. If you miss, you go back to 6.

With the current system, it's basically the same way. Extra points are converted at over 99%. That's basically a gimme, and at the distance we set them, the only way they don't convert is the very rare bad snap, or a block. It's super unexciting, and each time it is lined up is a let down after the actions that led to the touchdown.

This new system is good. It works for all of the stakeholders in the decision. It speeds up the process of the game, it reduces the chance for the freak injury (see Gronkowski breaking his arm on an extra point), it takes out a perfunctory play that many tune out, and it gives the league a little bit of a chance to get some advertising money. (For those groaning - every cent the league can wrangle out of a corporation is a way to keep your $11 beer at the stadium from becoming a $12 beer at the stadium.)

I think it could be taken a step further. Here's a way to create an incentive for teams to gamble a little more.

Give a team these three options:

Score a touchdown, automatically take 7 points.

Score a touchdown, one attempt from the two yard-line for 2 points. If you don't get it, you get 6 points. This is called a two point conversion, and it's already an option.

Score a touchdown, two attempts from the ten yard-line for 3 points. If you don't get it, you get 6 points.

Think about how much more exciting that would be! If you have a lot of confidence in your offense, you can try and run the score up big on an opponent early on. If you're behind big early, you have an extra chance to catch up.

Did your defense inadvertently give up a big play, or did you have a turnover that led to points for your opponent? Here's a way to make up for that.

Sure, there are concessions that would need to be made. On the three point attempt, you're looking at cutting the play clock down, probably by half.


"This Taco Bell Try for Tres is brought to you by Doritos Locos Tacos - When you're crazy enough to try for three, you're absolutely loco"

Get on it, Goodell.

Check back tomorrow night for a discussion on "Why are those end zone posts so wide, anyways?