The Giants will have to put a little extra into their extra points this weekend. They and the Bills will be the first teams to play under the NFL's experimental new rule that will place the ball at the 15-yard line for the point after a touchdown. Until now, the ball was spotted at the 2, but the league wants it to become a more competitive play.
So does Giants kicker Josh Brown. "It's almost a free point," he said. "I'm completely in favor of [attempting them from a longer distance]."
Kickers missed only five of 1,267 extra-point attempts in 2013, a conversion rate of 99.6 percent. The NFL considered spotting the ball at the 25 but settled on the 15 for this experimental phase. The rule will be in place for the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday and the first two preseason games for the other teams.
"It's now a 33-yard field goal. There's still room to miss," Brown said. "There's error there. A lot of guys take PATs off mentally. It's like a layup, not a free throw, it's a layup. You hit it in the same part of the glass and it goes in every single time. It sometimes can be thoughtless. This is going to be an interesting addition to see how guys engage mentally. You can't take it off. You slough through it, you'll miss it."
To prepare for the new rule, Giants kickers have not attempted any kicks less than 33 yards in training camp. In a meeting the other day, though, it dawned on them that the offense might stall inside the 10 and they could be called on to kick a field goal. Said Brown, "We need to start kicking some shorties in case we get stopped."
Ryan Nassib and Justin Pugh not only will be playing against their collegiate head coach in Sunday's game but will be facing almost the entire coaching staff from their final season at Syracuse. Doug Marrone brought eight assistants with him to Buffalo when he took the job as head coach after the 2012 season, the last year Pugh and Nassib played for Syracuse.
"I haven't seen them really since I left Syracuse," Pugh said. "It will be fun to go out there and play against those guys and be able to look over at their sideline. It will look basically like what our sideline looked like at Syracuse."
"It's fun and yet a little weird," Nassib said. "I spent so much time with those coaches for a big part of my life. It's going to be a little different playing against them."
Twelve players did not travel to Canton with the Giants because of injuries: DE Robert Ayers Jr. (ankle), T Will Beatty (migraine), WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), G Eric Herman (unknown), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), CB Bennett Jackson (ankle), CB Trumaine McBride (hip), DT Mike Patterson (shoulder), LB Spencer Paysinger (concussion), RB David Wilson (neck) and Jon Beason (foot/PUP).