Hey, who wants to take some more shots at our Dear Leader Roger Goodell? Everyone? Thought so.
In this case, however, we’re actually going to do it on behalf of a group of people Goodell is systematically oppressing: Placekickers.
Jeff Reed (remember him?) made some noise about this last month, and he might be on to something. During Goodell’s tenure, the NFL moved kickoffs from the 30-yard line up to the 35. That doesn’t sound like much, but it has vastly increased the number of touchbacks on kickoffs, essentially eliminating the kickoff return.
I happen to be of the opinion that one man with a football and ten blockers in front of him trying to score on 11 defenders is football is purest and simplest form, but okay, I’ll buy the player safety angle on that.
Now we’re moving extra point attempts back to the 15-yard line, but leaving conversion attempts at the 2. The implication here is that more teams will go for 2 than settle for a 33-yard field goal, although that’s dubious to begin with. What happens if kickers still make all but a few extra points? Will they move it back to the 25 in a few years? If the point is that you don’t want kickers making field goals, where will it stop?
This also takes the rare, but extremely entertaining, fake field goal out of the playbook. When you only need a ballcarrier to dive in a few feet for the conversion, or slip a tight end behind someone in that short a time, the fake is a more enticing option. You certainly aren’t going to flip the ball to your kicker and expect him to take it 15 yards for a touchdown, and you definitely won’t see a kicker attempt a pass from there.
The reverse is another question: Can you drop-kick a field goal if you line up from the 2? If so, are teams going to find a reliable drop-kicker and just put him at QB under the guise of a two-point try? One would assume that won’t be allowed, since we don’t want to see teams get one extra point after a touchdown, for some stupid reason.