Long taken for granted, the extra point is finally receiving extra attention.
NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino announced today that the NFL's 32 owners voted today to lengthen the distance of an extra point.
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
For an in-depth explanation of the rule, check out this analysis piece by Alex Marvez of FOX Sports and this article by Katie Sharp of SB Nation. As the two point out, most 32 or 33-yard field goals are still easy for a majority of the NFL's talented kickers, though not as automatic as 20-yard extra points.
The rule change does not appear to be a positive for the Browns. As ESPN.com's Pat McManamon wrote in March, late season kicks of 32 or 33 yards are much more difficult in Cleveland than in warmer climates such Tampa Bay or domes such as the Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium. The Browns also lack an experienced kicker. The team currently has two untested kickers on its roster: Travis Coons and Casey Spear.
Browns special teams coordinator Chris Tabor has consistently voiced his opinion that the change is a "competitive disadvantage" for the Browns, as McManamon reported on May 10. Anthony Lima of 92.3 The Fan and others noted Tabor's displeasure at the rule change soon after it was announced this evening.
Chris Tabor irate right now with this awful "disadvantage" for the Browns. The one advantage the Browns used to have apparently— Anthony Lima (@SportsBoyTony) May 19, 2015
Browns fans echoed Tabor's negativity towards the rule change.
As a number of fans pointed out, the Browns often find creative ways to lose, and a missed extra point could present a new one.
Odds of the #Browns being the first team to lose because of a missed PAT, now that the extra-point is from the 15 yard line— Mario Angelo (@marioangelo11) May 19, 2015
Extra point is now 15 yds. Now the browns will be scoring 6 pts per touchdown (if we get any)— daniel schmittgen (@danielschmitgen) May 19, 2015
with the new extra point rule, I suspect Vegas won't even list odds for the Browns being the first team to lose on that play being botched— Kevin Donahue (@KRDbuckeye) May 19, 2015
This farther extra point provides the Browns with a new way to blow games— Nathan Goldman (@ngoldman123) May 19, 2015
Soon after the announcement, the Browns' official Twitter account sent out a tweet soliciting fan opinion about the rule change.
Like or Dislike moving the extra point attempt to the 15-yard line? https://t.co/VZqXL3e3av— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 19, 2015
The responses were mostly negative, but certainly interesting.
@Browns Don't care for it honestly, it puts us at a disadvantage in the colder months at home, and gives dome teams an advantage.— Nicholas Gangwer (@NicholasGangwer) May 19, 2015
One fan posed an intriguing solution that would cause a little more controversy.
What do you think? Let your opinion be heard in the poll and comments section below.