How New England Patriots Will Approach New Extra Point Rule


As you probably have heard by now, the NFL has changed the extra point rule. The extra point has been shifted back to the 15-yard line, and defenses now have the ability to score a pair of points on returns. Here’s how the rule change will affect the New England Patriots.

Statistically, it is now a smarter play to go for two points after a touchdown.

They will probably be without him for the first four games of 2015, but the Patriots boast the best sneaking quarterback in NFL history. Tom Brady has to be viewed as a winner from this rule change, even though many are pointing to Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, and Russell Wilson as the main beneficiaries.

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But the Patriots don’t always have to sneak it with Brady after scoring a touchdown. Look for the Patriots to absolutely load the offensive line with as many tight ends as possible, and have LeGarrette Blount or Jonas Gray pound the ball into the end zone. Once defenses get accustomed to that ploy, then it won’t be hard to play-fake and hit Rob Gronkowski in the back of the end zone.

Hold the phone, though. It’s not like every point-after attempt will now be a two-point try. The Patriots have an elite kicker in Stephen Gostkowski; the day he misses a 33-yard field goal will be the same day pigs fly between the upgrights at Gillette Stadium.

Certainly, this new rule change will add a new layer of strategizing after every touchdown. Expect the Patriots to usually attempt the 33-yard field goal, but don’t be surprised if Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels design some nifty, dependable two-point plays.

On the other side of the ball, the Patriots’ bolstered front seven ought to stop some two-point tries.

Without a doubt, there will be some funky final scores this season as teams make and miss both one- and two-point tries. Look for the Patriots to be one of the NFL’s most efficient converters of point-after attempts from both the 15- and the 2-yard line.