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Should the PAT kick be eliminated?

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the podium

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the podium during the 2011 NFL Draft. (Apr. 28, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Patriots coach Bill Belichick recently floated the idea of eliminating extra points because kickers almost never miss them (there were only five missed PATs in the entire 2013 season). Well, it appears NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is open to at least considering the idea, and told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that one proposal could draw some attention from league owners.

Here’s how it would work: If a team scored a touchdown, it would automatically get seven points, thus eliminating the need for the extra point kick. However, if a team that scored a touchdown wanted to go for a two-point conversion, the touchdown would count for six points. If the two-point conversion was good, the team would get eight points; if the conversion missed, it would get six points.

“I don’t know [if it will happen],” Goodell told Eisen. “There are some issues about unintended consequences, so you want to be careful there.”

Goodell is not suggesting the PAT be eliminated altogether, just that there is a proposal out there that could be considered. If a change is made, a total of 24 of the league’s 32 owners would have to pass it. The league’s competition committee would initially study the proposal and make a recommendation to owners if it felt there should be a change.

My take: Leave the extra point in the game. It has been a part of the NFL all along, and there’s no reason to eliminate the play. This is one example of the rule: If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. The NFL is the most popular sport going, and making a fundamental change like eliminating the extra point kick entirely just doesn’t make sense.

Now, I get it about the part the PAT has become almost automatic, mostly because kickers have become incredibly accurate over the years. But if that’s the concern, then the consideration shouldn’t be eliminating the extra point kick, but moving it back so increase the degree of difficulty.

You want to put the PAT kick back to the 12 instead of the 2 to make it a 30-yard kick instead of a 20-yard try? Ok, I’ll think about it. But taking it out of the game entirely? No way. 

New York Sports