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Not So Automatic Anymore - Analysis of the PAT
Article Date: December 7th
2015                 


In 2015, the extra point or PAT was moved to the 15 yard line from the 2 yard line which results in a 33 yard kick. In 2014, kickers missed a total of 8 extra points or PATs for the entire regular season. In Week 13 of the 2015 season, kickers missed a total of 8 extra points. 

So where have all the good kickers disappeared to?
Sure, we still have the ageless and consistent Adam Vinatieri and Gostkowski has always been rock solid but what is going on this year with all the missed PATs?
Do we really need bring to back Morten Anderson?
In Morten Andersonís 25 year kicking career, he only missed 10 extra points.



How much do we really need to be concerned about here?
Letís look at the numbers before we all get bent out of shape here.
Here are field goals attempted and made between 30-39 yards for the last 2 seasons.

Year Attempts Made % Missed
2014 302 272 9.93%
2015 189 176 6.88%

With regards to PATs, the % missed is even lower.

Year

PAT Attempts

PAT Made

% Missed

2015

893 839 6.05%

The statistics actually indicate that kickers are doing better this season than last season on kicks in the 30-39 yard range. After this weekend, Jaguars fans probably disagree as Jason Myers missed 3 PATS and has missed 6 PATs this season. Ironically, Myers is 100% from 30-39 yards on his field goals. Whatís more important? 3 points or 1 point? :)

In kicks between 30-39 yards, even the great Morten Anderson missed 11% of his kicks in his career since they started tracking statistics from those distances. I think fans need to start setting expectations that the PAT is no longer automatic anymore.

If the expected value of an extra point is now almost .94 of a point (.94 x 1) and traditionally the expected value of a two point conversion is about 1 (2 x .50), then statistically it would make more sense to attempt the 2 pt. conversion.

However, unlike the success rates over the past several years (roughly 50%), this years success rate stands at only 42.7% (on 30 more attempts already vs. 2014), with an associated expected value of 0.85. Enough of a change this year to pivot back to kicking the extra point.

All that said, my opinion is that if the league wants a more exciting play - more teams going for the conversion, they haven't taken the right actions to encourage it. What they should do is move the spot of the ball forward to the 1 yard line. That would likely have the intended effect.

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