Getting rid of the extra point in the NFL has been all the rage this offseason, or at least for some it has. But for NFL kickers, that proposition doesn’t sit well and Indianapolis Colts free agent kicker Adam Vinatieri may have a solution.
“I think what they should do is any kick over 50 yards is worth four points.”
Now Vinatieri doesn’t want to get rid of the extra point, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pointed out that very few extra points were missed last season, five total, and fans deserved more excitement on every play.
So if the NFL does decide to get rid of the extra point they could simply add it to kicks that are 50 yards or more.
A 50-plus yard field goal is far from automatic, even with kickers becoming stronger and more accurate each year. Last season there were 143 field goals attempted from 50 or more yards and 96 of them were made, 67.1 percent. On top of that, only four kickers were perfect from 50-plus yards and seven others were 75 percent or better.
Rewarding teams for attempting more exciting field goals is a perfect fix for what’s ailing the league. As Vinatieri pointed out to Colts.com’s Brown:
“Reward the guys that are exceptional. I don’t want to emphasize that kickers are more important…but now all of a sudden you are down three and you have a 48-yard field goal. Do you purposely lose two yards so you can potentially win by a point? It just puts a different little spin into it.”
That would definitely put a twist on coaching strategy. If your team is on the opponent 27-yard line and you’re down three, do you go for the 45-yard field goal to tie or do you take a delay of game, move the ball back five yards and attempt a four-point field goal?
Well according to Pro-Football-Reference.com, teams kicking a 45 to 49 yard field goal only succeeded on 78.3 percent, 130 out of 166. Obviously depending on your kicker you may opt for the shorter field goal, but if you have someone like Matt Prater, Robbie Gould, Steven Hauschka or Vinatieri then that 10 percent difference may be worth the risk.
It’s hard to fault the NFL for trying to make the game more exciting, especially after making it a tad boring thanks to the new “safety” rules. And the best way to make it more exciting? Listen to the employees whose job it is to make the game exciting