The job of Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter just became a little more challenging.
On Tuesday evening, the NFL's vice president in charge of officiating, Dean Blandino, announced that the league had agreed upon a significant rule change for the 2015 season: extra points will now be spotted at the 15-yard line.
The extra point rule for 2015 just changed. Snap for kick from the 15-yard line, 2-pt try stays at 2-yard line and defense can return.— Dean Blandino (@DeanBlandino) May 19, 2015
As NFL.com's Kevin Patra clarifies, if the defense returns a two-point try to the end zone, it will result in two points being awarded to the defending team, rather than a full six points.
The goal of the rule change, as you might suspect, is to make the extra point a more challenging play, especially as kickers become more automatic at short ranges. How automatic?
In 2014, extra point kicks were 99.5% accurate. In preseason experiment for 2 weeks with snap from the 15-yard line: 94.3% accurate— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) May 19, 2015
The new distance places the ball at the same spot as a 33-yard field goal. In 2014, NFL kickers successfully converted 272 of their 302 field goal attempts (90.1 percent) between 30 and 39 yards, per Pro Football Reference.
Carpenter took to the airwaves with SiriusXM NFL Radio shortly after the announcement was made to discuss the changes, noting that the game will become more challenging while questioning whether or not this aligns with the league's desire to limit the number of collisions between players on special teams.
Dan Carpenter: Its gonna change the game for sure, a 33 yd kick is no gimmie when the weather is brutal in November/December.— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 19, 2015
Dan Carpenter: The NFL wants to cut down on collisions but this new XP rule will only cause more guys crashing into each other.— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 19, 2015