Cory’s Corner: Less is more, don’t change the PAT rule

I give credit to anyone that is willing to look in the mirror and find ways to get better.

It looks like the NFL is moving toward changing the point after touchdown for the 2015 season.

But will cosmetic changes like spotting the ball on 1½-yard line for a two-point conversion, moving the line of scrimmage back for PAT’s or even deleting the PAT altogether make the game any more enjoyable or competitive?

I agree that the PAT has become so automatic that it should be treated as another commercial. There were only five kickers that didn’t have a 100 percent success rate on PAT’s this past season. That was a total of six misses — two by Green Bay’s Mason Crosby.

The thing that puzzles me is what is the NFL trying to accomplish by tinkering with this?

If they’re trying to get the elusive millennials, which has been a chief worry of Major League Baseball, they can rest easy. The NFL already has them with fantasy football, video games and countless other things.

But playing with a rule has its consequences. There’s the gamble that it could potentially alienate its older fan base. By being frustrated by ever-changing rules, NFL seasoned fans that have been used to simple and sustainable rules will be forced to learn new tricks once again.

Football is a familial game. It is the centerpiece at Thanksgiving and its season-finale continues to be one of the most-watched TV programs ever. The reason it’s so popular is because it can monopolize weekends with mediocre matchups.

From a logistical rules standpoint, the NFL is fine. The PAT might be monotonous and obvious, but it shouldn’t be changed.

Because what’s the precedent? When quarterbacks are averaging over 350 yards passing a game in a few years, will the NFL put the clamps on offenses that it now has rules to enhance?

The PAT is a ridiculously easy play. Heck, most defensive tackles don’t even engage with offensive linemen because it’s a waste of time. But it’s a rule that everyone understands and helps make the game simple.

The reason that the NCAA is so confusing is because it has a rule book that is thicker than “Gone With the Wind.”

Less is more. The NFL doesn’t have to micromanage everything in order to have a premier product.

Because it already has one.


Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


10 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Less is more, don’t change the PAT rule

  1. Basketball added the 3 point shot and it was a great move. Everyone agrees on this but there was opposition at first.
    So,how about this?
    1) 1 point – kick the ball from the 2 yard line.
    2) 2 points – run or pass from 5 yard line
    3) 3 points – run or pass from 10 or 20 yard line. I like this one a lot. It would really add to the excitement and the kick is not exciting.

    In no time people would get accustomed to this and figuring out strategy by the coaches would be fun to watch. The announcers would second guess like crazy and it would be great to listen to them.
    My 2 cents.

  2. The NFL just reworded what a catch is and isn’t but still leaves the masses in chaos when another situation(Bryant vs GB) arises and will have succeeded in keeping the flames of both sides fuming however called.
    The X-tra point is nothing but a marketing ruse and if I had earnings at stake via that I would demand the X-tra point remain for the commercial revenue.
    I did like what was offered by WFAN-NY by Mike Francessa I believe;
    TD is worth 7 pts period with an option to go for 2 more to earn 9 pts but if you fail you lose 1 pt and get 6 for the TD…a risk/reward which makes for good chess play in the 4th quarter whether losing and or trying to secure a win with a 1-2 pt lead….Simple and easy to understand. 🙂

    1. Taryn – I also heard Francesca’s comments on the PAT’s, which I think is a good simple way to go. And as you mention the NFL doesn’t want to lose any commercial revenue. However, I’m not sure that any change is necessary. Yes, the extra point is boring, but it is also a relatively safe play for the players involved. In this era of escalating injuries and growing concerns over concussions and the long term health of players (post-career) does the league really need to add another play that increases their risk. Do we need to put Aaron Rodgers, Lacy, Cobb, Nelson or a defensive player at risk of injury for a 2 point conversion? I would prefer not to. For the injury factor alone I say leave the PAT as is and let the league keep their commercial revenues. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. “…. does the league really need to add another play that increases their risk.”

        This idea isn’t adding more plays but by eliminating the PAT by awarding 7 pts for the TD,the odds are,IMO,near nil,that teams will attempt more 2 pt conversions than they do now, simply because of the possible aspect of losing 1 pt if failed.

        If the PAT stays fine,but if one is worried about adding a play and risk thereof from such,this idea is actually erasing a play from the total and a more stringent thinking of going for 2. 🙂

        1. Taryn – I agree. I should have been more clear in my post. I meant to say that I think the league is looking to change the PAT for change sake. If they eliminate the current 1 point PAT and leave only some form of 2 point try they will be creating an extra play. However, if they do go with Francesca’s suggestion then the team scoring the TD could opt out of the 2 point conversion and stay with the 7 points. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks, Since ’61

  3. “If less is more, then think about how much more more would be.” That’s a line from the show Frasier. I couldn’t resist. Keep the PAT like it is.

  4. Many people hate change. It messes with your comfort zone and forces you to pay closer attention. I don’t see change going away any time soon, in fact, plan on much more in the near future, as they attempt to make the game safer. The Borland decision, will also have a lingering affect on the league in years to come. Its a fine line these athletes walk when stepping onto the field. Their future health is on the line, as well as astronomical salaries. The big question: Do you want to roll the dice? There will come a time, when we will watch old NFL films and say, “Man, those guys were crazy”! Kind of like watching Gladiators…..

  5. When I could go out and kick 15 or so straight extra points without a miss, it’s time for a change. Kicking from the 25YL (35 yard kick) for one point or the option to kick from the 45YL (55 yard kick) for two points may add some interest and decision making. Otherwise, keeping the kicking option the same is simply a waste of time in my opinion. I do like the current run/pass option for two points as it currently exists.

  6. I like the PAT, but would like to see a bit more uncertainty factored in. So I have three ideas, borrowed from other sports:
    1: Make the player that scored the TD be the one who kicks it. This would also add some roster-management strategy.
    2: Like in rugby, instead of all kicks from the middle of the field, have them kick it from the spot where the TD was scored. If you just get in at the pylon, your PAT is going to be harder.
    3: Probably the easiest, though, is make the goal posts narrower, like in Arena Football. This would also make FGs harder, maybe more going for it on 4th down when teams are further outl

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