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Goodell: NFL may consider scrapping PATs, adding excitement to TDs

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by Sam Gardner, Fox Sports
Tue Jan 21, 5:10 PM UTC

Earlier this season, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters that extra points in football were boring because they have become so automatic, and now it appears commissioner Roger Goodell might agree.

In fact, on Monday, Goodell appeared on NFL Network’s “Total Access,” and took things a step further than Belichick, indicating that the league’s competition committee could consider eliminating the PAT altogether.

“One of the things the committee does besides looking first at the safety issues … (is) looking to see, ‘Are there any plays in the game that, really, are not consequential?’” Goodell told host Rich Eisen. “And one of the issues that has happened is that the extra point is almost automatic.”

Goodell is right enough there. The NFL only saw five missed extra points this regular season — one each from Green Bay, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Philadelphia — in 1,267 tries. And the active kicker with the worst PAT conversion rate is Graham Gano, who has made 97.6 percent of his regular-season kicks since coming into the league four seasons ago.

But if football actually did do away with the extra point, then what would happen after a touchdown?

“You want to add excitement with every play,” Goodell said. “So there have been some proposals. Some are still going through the process of creativity, but there’s one proposal in particular that I’ve heard about (where) it’s automatic that you get seven points when you score a touchdown, but you could potentially go for an eighth point, either by running or passing the ball. But if you fail, you’d go back to six.”

It’s certainly an interesting idea that would force coaches to rethink the way they approach certain game situations, but before you start thinking about how such a rule might impact the 17th round of your fantasy draft next year, take a breath — because Goodell, in his interview, also made it clear that the proposal he discussed is just that.

“We often get a lot of ideas that are thrown out,” Goodell said. “The committee will look at all of them and decide what is worthy of further consideration.

“There’s some issues, and it goes back to … unintended consequences,” he continued. “You want to be careful there; is that going to discourage people from going for two? We want to make sure we look at some of that, and that’s what the committee does. They’ll make, obviously, some focus on this in the committee and see where they come out.”

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