The NFL released the proposed rule changes that will discussed at next week’s competition committee meeting.
They’re all relatively minor, except for one: the Indianapolis Colts want to make it possible for a team to score nine points on one possession.
Under their proposal, a team would be able to attempt a 50-yard kick for an extra point after they successfully converted a two-point conversion.
The idea is to incentive teams to go for two more often, according to Fox Sports’ Pete Schrager. In theory, it would fundamentally change the calculus of the game, and increase the number of points possible from a single possession.
The Colts want to experiment with the scoring system change in the preseason, according to the NFL. It’s important to note that the competition committee is only going to discuss this change. The odds of it actually happening are, more than likely, very low.
Right now NFL teams kick the extra point an overwhelming majority of the time, despite mathematical evidence that they should be going for two far more often than they are. Would the possibility of getting three points encourage more teams to go for two?
The expected value of the current extra point is 0.996 points (since NFL kickers make ~99.6% of extra points).
The expected value of going for two is 0.998 points (since NFL teams historically convert 49.9% of two-point attempts).
NFL kickers have made 63.3% of 50-yard field goals over the last five seasons. That means the expected value of an extra point from midfield is around 0.63 points. Since you only have a 49.9% chance of even attempting that midfield extra point because you have to convert the two-point conversion first under the Colts’ proposal, its added expected value is closer to 0.32 points.
So at the end of the day, the expected value of “going for three” would be around 1.32 points, while the expected value of just kicking the extra point is still 0.996 points. NFL teams are notoriously conservative, would that be enough to make them go for two more often?
We’d be shocked if it actually happened. We’d still love to see it for pure entertainment value, though.
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