Updates from Saturday, Aug. 9
The trend of kickers missing the longer extra point continued on Saturday as Tennessee Titans kicker Maikon Bonani failed to convert against Green Bay (via Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean):
Maikon Bonani misses the 33-yard extra point. And hears a few boos #Titans— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) August 10, 2014
The NFL is using the first few weeks of the preseason to experiment with a new extra point and it is already affecting some kickers.
In an effort to make things more interesting after touchdowns, the ball is being placed at the 15-yard line to make the point-after attempt equivalent to a 33-yard field goal. This is only an experimental rule for the first two weeks of the preseason before going back to the two-yard line.
While the kickers had fared well during the first few games, they struggled early in Friday's contest, as noted by ESPN:
There have been 2 missed extra points tonight from the extended distance after kickers went 23-for-23 yesterday (J. Gay, S. Graham).— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 9, 2014
Carolina Panthers kicker Jordan Gay looked bad on his first attempt:
Everyone is shanking extra points! https://t.co/Tdp5pWr9Lq— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) August 9, 2014
Meanwhile, veteran Shayne Graham of the New Orleans Saints also struggled with his first try:
Oops. Shayne Graham's extra-point attempt hits the left upright. No good.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) August 9, 2014
Graham only had seven extra-point attempts last season and converted all of them. Over his 13-year career, he has made 375 of 380 extra points.
Will Gellman of Rant Sports provided his opinion on the rule change:
Obviously moving the XP back was a bad move so far for the NFL. Several missed extra points. Either that or the kickers are just very rusty.— Will Gellman (@Will_Gellman) August 9, 2014
This goes against what Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com was hoping to see in the preseason:
I hope kickers make every extra point the next two weeks so the league sees how pointless this rule proposal is.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) August 4, 2014
On the other hand, former player Charlie Batch believes this should remain throughout the regular season:
I like the extra point moved back to the 15 yard line. #NFL please keep this rule thru the season, You get my vote!— Charlie Batch (@CharlieBatch16) August 4, 2014
Kickers rarely struggle with the normal extra point, with only five kickers missing attempts during the entire 2013 season. No kicker missed more than one.
If the league is hoping to keep things exciting on a play that has become automatic, it seems to have accomplished the goal.
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