KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The success of an extra-point kick was once the most automatic play of any NFL game.
But a 2015 rules change that moved the point after touchdown (PAT) back to what amounts to 33-yard field goal for a single point has dropped the automatic nature of the kick.
That was especially visible around the league on Sunday when teams lined up nine times to kick, but could not score because six kicks were missed, two were blocked and another became a failed pass on a snafu involving the hold.
“You saw a lot of teams – and now as the weather changes, man, with this new rule, you don’t know,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday of the PAT problems. “This is new territory. If yesterday was any indication, there were a whole lot of misses in the National Football League on these PATs.”
Reid and his team was right in the middle of the mess, as the Chiefs botched one PAT kick attempt, missed another and saw Oakland miss one as well. Three interceptions in the fourth quarter made the missed PATs moot for the Chiefs in their 34-20 victory over the Raiders.
On the first miss, there was a high, but controllable snap from James Winchester. Holder Dustin Colquitt was able to get the ball down in time for the kick by Cairo Santos, but he lost control of the hold and Santos stopped his approach to the ball. Colquitt stood up and tried to throw the ball, but his attempt was incomplete.
“I thought the first one, Dustin didn’t get a good grasp on it,” Reid said. “He went to put it down and it slid right out, off his hand. Heck that happens.”
After the Chiefs next touchdown, Santos missed the kick wide right and it wasn’t close.
“There’s probably no excuse for the second one,” said Reid. “We have to make that. It wasn’t the cleanest delivery and all, but you have got to just kick it through the uprights and that’s how it rolls. It’s not always going to be perfect. You’re not always not going to have the laces and all this stuff. You have got to just drill it and go with it.”
After the Chiefs final touchdown against the Raiders, Reid called for a two-point play and picked up the deuce on a pass from quarterback Alex Smith to tight end Travis Kelce.
With Sunday’s experience, combined with the colder weather they’ll see in the season’s final four games, is Reid considering a change in his strategy on the PAT? Will he go more often for the two-point play?
Through last week’s first 15 games, there were seven two-point attempts and three were successful.
“I have confidence in those guys, so I just think we have got to up the focus just an inch there,” Reid said. “That’s where I’m at with it. Right now, I’m not changing my thinking on it.”
In other comments from Reid’s conversation with the media on Monday:
–The coach had no update on the injury status of his players.
–He was complimentary of the play of Dee Ford who started for the injured Justin Houston: “I thought Dee did some nice things. He got a lot of snaps and sacks he ended up causing just by his rush. Even though he wasn’t declared as the guy who made the sack he was able to get that collapse on the tackle there – with the offensive tackle and the quarterback. So I thought he did some good things. I thought it was a good experience for him, too.”
–Praised the snaps of outside linebacker Frank Zombo: “Six plays, two sacks – that’s not a bad ratio.”
–Reid was happy with the performance of Zach Fulton at center for the sidelined Mitch Morse: “I thought he played a good game, I thought that was a heck of a game by him.”