Examples of How PATs Are Utilized
When attempting a PAT, the ball was formerly placed on the 2-yard line in the NFL, or the 3-yard line in college or high school, and the kick was typically made from inside the 10-yard line. This practise has since been phased out.
For the 2015 season, the NFL moved the PAT line back to the 15-yard line in an attempt to infuse a bit extra enthusiasm into the kickoff. In addition, the new regulation permits the defence to earn two points on a single play. Two points are awarded to the defence if it successfully blocks a PAT kick and returns it for a touchdown, or if it intercepts or fumbles the ball on a two-point attempt and returns it for a touchdown. In the past, a failed PAT was seen as a fatal failure.
The new regulation has had a significant impact. Extra points were usually always awarded under the former PAT system, however this is no longer the case. The year 2016 was the first year in which kickers missed more PATs than any other year since 1977; kickers missed a total of 71 PATs in 2016.
A Disappointing Outcome
The most egregious incident occurred in the year 2016. AFC Championship
game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos took place on Sunday. The Patriots scored a touchdown in the first quarter and then sent Stephen Gostkowski onto the field to tie the game.
Gostkowski was regarded as one of the best and most consistent placekickers in the history of the game. At that point in his career, he had converted 87.3 percent of his field goal tries, which was a very excellent percentage. Since 2006, he had not missed a field goal attempt. In a close game in the conference championship game, there was only one kicker you wanted to make a PAT, and that was Gostkowski of the New York Giants.
The miss would come back to haunt New England in a huge manner in the following years. When the Patriots were down 20-18 late in the game, they were forced to try a two-point conversion to tie the game. They failed. They missed the game, then missed the playoffs, and the Broncos went on to win the Super Bowl in their place. Gostkowski had previously made an incredible 523 consecutive extra point attempts before to that time.
Several more simple blunders
Nonetheless, even under the old system, kickers
would occasionally miss extra points because they were under duress. When the New Orleans Saints defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003, they pulled off a miraculous comeback thanks to a play that included several diagonal passes. Somehow, the Saints managed to score a touchdown on the play and pulled within one point of the Jaguars at 20-19 — the season of the Saints was in the balance. After finishing the season with a 7-7 record, they would have no chance of making the playoffs if they lost this game. In the end, Saints placekicker John Carney missed the extra point attempt, and the team was defeated.