Sports | November 22, 2021 1:47 pm

NFL Kickers Are Getting Worse at Making Extra Points

The NFL’s league-wide success rate on extra points is down to 92.9% following a poor day of kicking on Sunday

Indianapolis Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship attempts an extra point
Indianapolis Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship attempts an extra point.
Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty

By hitting field goals from 54, 53, and 51 yards during Cincinnati’s win over the Raiders in Las Vegas on Sunday, Bengals kicker Evan McPherson tied the NFL record for most 50-yard field goals in a single game.

The only kicker who was taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, the fifth-round pick tacked on a 47-yard field goal and also converted three extra points. But, as many kickers did on Sunday, McPherson did miss an extra-point attempt.

His miss, coupled with plenty of others on Sunday, dropped the NFL’s league-wide success rate on extra points down to 92.9% for the season, the lowest success rate in the league since kickers made just 91.3% of extra points in 1979.

Exta-point kicking hit an all-time high from 2010 to 2014 when 99 percent of kicks after touchdown were successful. So, to add some excitement back into one of football’s most boring plays, the NFL decided to make extra points more difficult and moved the spot of the ball 13 yards back from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line. Since that change was made in 2015, the success rate on extra points has hovered between 93% and 95%.

This season, six teams have been perfect on extra-point tries: Atlanta, Miami, Buffalo, Baltimore, Philadelphia and the New York Giants. But, on the other side of the ledger are the Texans, who have missed 73.3% of their attempts, and Jaguars, who have missed on 76.4% of their tries. Already at a new low, the success rate on extra points is likely to plunge even farther as kicking gets more difficult as the weather turns colder and race for the playoffs heats up and adds more pressure.

As ProFootballTalk notes, teams might be smarter to start attempting two-point conversions more often.

“Two-point conversion attempts have been successful 55% of the time this season,” per PFT. “Meaning on average, a two-point conversion attempt will yield 1.1 points, and an extra point kick will yield 0.9 points. Teams ought to go for two more often, as extra-point kicks are no longer automatic.”