So, how did kickers do this season with the new, longer extra point?
According to The MMQB, NFL placekickers missed 71 PATs this season, compared to 37 of their last 6,153 kicks between 2010 and 2014. Per NFL research, the 71 missed PATs this season was the highest number of missed extra points in a year since 1977 (72) and the lowest conversion percentage since 1982.
In all, it's hard to say that the shift to the 15-yard line didn't at least make the game slightly more interesting. Amid some intense kicking struggles, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin momentarily adopted a philosophy of going for the 2-point conversion. Bills placekicker Dan Carpenter gave us one of the more memorable extra point moments in recent NFL history Sunday against the Jets after missing a kick and spiking his helmet off the aluminum bench into his own face.
Some kickers reported that the longer extra point effected their ability to hit field goals at a more consistent level, and others experienced a vicious signing-and-cutting cycle in the wake of those mistakes.
But the most fascinating aspect from a game planning perspective is the need to make up for a missed extra point, or, from the Steelers' point of view, the ability to force a team to make up for it. This caused more coordinators and coaches to focus on effective 2-yard plays than ever. Trying to score from the 2-yard line is one of the more difficult propositions in the NFL in a do-or-die situation unless, like Tomlin, you have an excellent offensive line and goal line back.
Though it did not cause the massive chaos scenario that some predicted -- a situation where kickers would command a larger portion of the salary cap due to reliability issues -- it is making us think twice about something that was once inevitable.