The 32 owners of the National Football League have decided to move the point-after-touchdown, or extra point, back to the 15 yard line. This will now result in a kicker attempting what amounts to a 33 yard field goal that is worth one point rather than three.
The vote was 30-2 with only Washington and Oakland voting against the proposal. Also added to the new rule is that defenses will be allowed to return a blocked PAT or muffed snap for two points of their own.
The two-point conversion was introduced during the 1994 season but has never really caught on the way many thought it might. NFL head coaches by nature are conservative folks who don’t like to give away points even at the opportunity of gaining an extra one.
The Steelers, despite struggling in the red zone in recent years are actually pretty decent when it comes to getting the two points successfully. Granted, the sample size is not all that much to work with but still, it’s worth noting.
Since 2008, the Steelers have an 80% success rate on two-point conversions. Their most successful season in this regard came in 2014 when they were four for four.
Three times in that span, they attempted zero two-point conversions. Those occurred in the 2008, 2009 and 2011 seasons.
Shaun Suisham has proven to be a very reliable kicker but will Mike Tomlin be able to shove the enticement of going for two points aside as easy as he did under the traditional PAT?
I have to believe with Le’Veon Bell and a combination of fast and tall receivers, Ben Roethlisberger has to be licking his chops at the possibilities that exist. We already know that Todd Haley has come up with some pretty crazy two-point conversions in his time as the offensive coordinator so I would have to believe he’ll be like a mad scientist.
What’s going to be most interesting with this new rule is how the weather impacts the decisions of coaches. Obviously every coach has a “when to go for two” card on them but will that be trumped by the conditions of the wind or the field in general?
Buckle up for this one kids because the new rule is going to bring all kinds of strategy and excitement that we haven’t seen following a touchdown before in the game of professional football.