I'd like to start a new thread devoted to the cards for this season. To get the ball rolling, I'd like to discuss the rule change since last season. Previously an extra point was kicked from the two yard line. That was moved back to the 15 years line. Source: NFL moves extra point to 15-yard line for 2015 season.
Quoting to the article Giving Kickers the Boot, "Now a 19-yard PAT that had a 99.5 percent success rate will become a 32-yard PAT with a success rate somewhere in the mid-90s."
This seems accurate to me. That said, it would seem that in most situations going for the kick would still be the right play. This is very important because an extra half point won't be worth as much off the critical numbers (namely 3 and 7) if there are a lot of two-point conversion attempts. In other words, the margin of victory distribution won't be as spiky, which would be bad for us.
The big question I'd like to ask is so far in pre-season play, what percentage of the time was a touchdown followed by a kick? I'd prefer to remove from the sampling end-of-game situations where one extra point made a huge difference, but will take whatever information anybody may have. Thank you.
In 2014, NFL teams were successful on 27 of 56 (48.2%) conversions for a 100 attempt estimate of 96.4 points per 100 attempts. A 33 yard FG has a 95% conversion rate or 95 points per 100 attempts. The numbers do show that going for 2 all the time will equal more points over the long haul. In 4 years since it was introduced in 1994, 2 point conversions were converted more than 50% of the time. Does that 1 point per 100 opportunities give people incentive to buck tradition and go for 2 more often or with regularity? My guess is it will, but the gravitation towards it will be more gradual, kind of like when the NBA first introduced the 3 point shot roughly 35 years ago
My guess is week 1 and 2 there will be a higher number of 2 point plays then depending on the conversion percentage, teams will decide if they want to continue on it. There will be a few teams like the Eagles that will try more than everyone else.
In addition, with the new rule change, teams that are considering playing it differently by going for 2 points more often, probably wouldn't show much of that during the preseason. "My' Philadelphia Eagles comes to mind. There is a lot of speculation they picked up Tim Tebow and he will make the team, specifically for the two point conversion play. If that is the case, they haven't shown it during preseason and likely won't until the season begins.
(In the first 17 games of the 2015 preseason, place-kickers missed two of 56 extra-point attempts from the new distance. Coaches called for 13 two-point attempts, and their teams converted six. More notably, a similar change in the Canadian Football League has brought extra-point conversion rates down from 99.4 percent to 84.1 percent during its ongoing 2015 season.)[
Other data, including 2014 aggregates is included in the August 18 article here.
"Now a 19-yard PAT that had a 99.5 percent success rate will become a 32-yard PAT with a success rate somewhere in the mid-90s."
Over the last three years kickers have made only 94% of field goals from between 30 and 35 yards. But it is 98% when only counting attempts from the middle of the field and not rushed for time.
If I was setting a line on % of PAT made I would open around 97.5. If anyone offered only 95 or 96% I would bet very heavily on the over
But the big issue isn't the change in value so much as the change in perception. If coaches think there is a chance of missing the kick, while they have a better than 50% of making the conversion, they'll go for it early and often, forcing the other team to as well.
What's the over / under on total number of two-point conversion attempts for the year?
The big question I'd like to ask is so far in pre-season play, what percentage of the time was a touchdown followed by a kick?
Not that big. Even before this year didn't teams go for two quite often in the preseason? The thinking was that to not practice PAT in the past would have cost a team maybe one point over 16 games. But being effective at scoring from the two yard line would be worth a lot over the course of a season
The value of the 3 has definitely dropped (by as much as 10-cents according to some estimates I've heard; along with the 7). But it is still a zero-sum game. No matter what there will still most likely be 256 margins of victory this year. If a game is 7.5 on the card and 9.5 off the board, it will be more valuable than before. Same with a game that is +2.5 on the card and a pick off the board. As the value of a couple key numbers drops, the value of all the others increase.
Also very important to know the teams playing. Eagles and Patriots will go for two a lot, perhaps even on the first TD of the game. Packers might as well. Others will go far less often unless dictated by the score
Heads up that the first game is on Thursday Sep 10. The half-point cards probably won't be out until after that game. The first full Sunday of games is Sep 13.
I do think Eagles are planning on going for 2, quite a bit this year. I don't know if other teams are thinking similarly or will follow. Should be interesting, to see how this shakes out and effects lines.