Tomlin’s Extra Point Rule Change Makes More Sense Than The Ones Proposed

Many rule change proposals were bandied about yesterday ahead of the scheduled NFL Competition Committee meeting, but perhaps one of the more interesting suggestions I’ve heard will not be among those brought up in said meeting.

According to Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II, head coach Mike Tomlin has an idea of his own to make extra points more compelling, rather than simply doing away with them wholesale.

Qualifying his statement by saying that he doesn’t know if Tomlin has ever even commented on it publicly, Rooney said that Tomlin’s idea would be to move the point after attempt from the two-yard line to the one-yard line.

This seems to be a more rewarding alteration than the one that will actually be brought up and considered, which would be to move the line of scrimmage for the point after attempt all the way back to the 25-yard line.

The logic behind Tomlin’s suggestion—which, again, is not actually on the table, at least not this year—would be to encourage teams to go for two-point attempts more frequently by shortening the distance to the goal line.

Rather than trying to make an extra point have all the excitement of a glorified field goal, enticing teams to go for that eight-point score seems to be a better solution to the apparent problem that the league has identified, which is that extra point attempts are simply not very interesting or entertaining.

Backing them up can only make them so much more interesting. Instead, encourage teams to move away from them naturally rather than take them away artificially by automatically awarding the point.

A one-yard and two-yard goal-to-go scenario calls for two completely different playbooks, so moving the line of scrimmage up a yard really opens up the options for an offensive coordinator to take advantage of.

Naturally, it surely makes running the ball a far more enticing option. I’m sure if we look at statistics of third down or goal line plays from one versus two yards out, we’ll find not only a greater occurrence of running the ball, but also a greater success rate while carrying the ball on the ground, in the former.

Wouldn’t you imagine that somebody like Chip Kelly would take advantage of this option to go for two points? After all, if you have a better than 50 percent success rate on two-point attempts, then you’re coming out ahead in comparison to hitting on 100 percent of your extra point tries.

I have a hard time imagining that the Competition Committee will actually approve the change of moving the line of scrimmage for extra point attempts back to the 25-yard line. Frankly, the idea just seems silly to me.

Hopefully one day Tomlin’s suggestion will actually be on the table and be given fair consideration, because I think it’s a better solution to the league’s concerns than any others I’ve heard proposed.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • steeltown

    It’s all sort of silly.

  • JB

    I think they should just narrow and maybe raise the goal post.
    Moving to the 25 just makes no sense.

  • Steelers12328882

    It seems like a good idea, but if football is going to have special teams, kickers and need a kicker as one of the 46 players that dress for game day, then you might as well use them. I say move the kick back, make it harder for them, and by doing that you make the extra point a little more exciting even if it only increases the chances of missing it by 10% or whatever the stats may be. Tomlin’s idea will just decrease the use of the kicker and increase goal line offense.

  • CrazyTerry

    I have no problem with making extra points tougher instead of making 2 points easier. Move the extra point back 5-10 yards.You want the extra point to be near automatic, but not something the viewer can just ignore. FG attempts in the 30-35 range fit that criteria.

  • Jason White

    I have a better idea. They could just leave it how it is because it works just fine.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I don’t like the idea of moving PAT’s to the 25 yard line. That would make it a 42 yard kick for 1 point. And what if a team wants to try for 2 points? Is the ball still placed at the 25 yard line? The Tomlin idea sounds much better to me.

  • srdan

    Just leave it go. What’s wrong with teh PAT?

    This seems like wanting change just for the sake of change, not for improvement.

  • PA2AK

    The patriots would never win another sb, that’s for sure.

  • Matt Manzo

    Moving the kick back is a better idea then the automatic point idea! Tomlins is a good one too, I like his better!

  • Jeff Anoble

    With the crazy ideas these “justify my job” idiots are always coming up with, what will this game even look like 100 years from now. I’ll never know. And moving the ball to the 40 for kickofffs!? What are they doing to this historic game?

  • RMSteeler

    I hear Tomlin also proposed that coaches caught in the wide white sidline strip be penalized a timeout and loss of challenge instead of a $100K fine and 6 month threat of loss of draft pick 🙂

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I think teams that score a TD should be able to forfeit an extra-point attempt in order to set the other team’s touchback at the 10-yard line instead of the 20 on the ensuing possession. It’s a defensive gamble that way.


    Here’s a novel idea…… How about we stop f**king around with the rules before the game becomes UNRECOGNIZABLE to anybody that has been watching it for more than 5 years?
    Surely, Roger has other ways to stroke his own ego.

  • j m

    tcirish — You da man! I agree completely.

  • j m

    Just like making passing easier and scoring touchdowns easier, Goodell is trying to appeal to the marginal fan (women). He knows the hardcore fan (men) will never abandon the game.
    Ever wonder why the league dresses the players up in pink shoes every October?

  • treeher

    If you move it to the one, then you virtually eliminate the extra point kick except for circumstances where either (1) you are so far ahead that it doesn’t matter (2) you are so far behind that it doesn’t matter (3) You’re at the end of the game and are tied so that one one point wins the game, or (4) You’re at the end of the game and one point behind and the coach wants to play for a tie.

  • steelersfan

    The last thing I would want as a fan would be for the kicker to have even more importance in the game. Imagine being down by 7 points and scoring a touchdown with like 5 seconds left only to have the kicker miss the 43 yard extra point. I would go nuts. I think leaving it the way it is, getting rid of it completely, making a team have to go for two, or Tomlin’s idea is the way to go here.