NFL owners are meeting in San Francisco at 4:30 p.m. (CT) today to follow up on discussions they had at the Annual Meeting in March, including three proposals for changing point-after-touchdown attempts.
NFL Competition Committee member and Falcons President & CEO Rich McKay said in March that the discussion on what to do after touchdowns was "interesting and lively" and there was a sentiment of creating more of a "football play," but action was tabled until this already scheduled meeting.
Teams currently have the option of receiving the ball at the opponent's 2-yard line and kicking the ball from the 10-yard line for a total distance of 20 yards for the extra point or of attempting to get the ball in the end zone by lining up and passing or running the ball or executing a fake to score two points by crossing the goal line. The current version of the two-point attempt option was installed in the NFL in 1994.
Monday Morning Quarterback's Peter King reported that PAT kicks have been successful 99.5 percent of the time in the past four seasons and that 28 of the 59 two-point conversions attempted (47.5 percent) in 2014 were successful. King took a look at three plans: submitted by the NFL Competition Committee, the New England Patriots and what changing the rules might mean.
Making a change to the PAT procedures would require a vote to do so by at least 24 of the 32 teams.
Under the Competition Committee's proposal, the team that had just scored a touchdown could go for one with the line of scrimmage at the 15-yard line for a kick of 33 yards (NFL holders typically take snaps eight yards behind the line of scrimmage on PATs and field goals), or go for two points from the 2-yard line. If the kick is blocked or a turnover occurs, the defending team could return the ball for two points. This proposal would only be for the 2015 season and would require another vote to continue in 2016 or beyond.
The New England proposal removes the opportunity for a defensive team to score by returning a blocked kick or turnover and would make the rule change permanent.
The Philadelphia proposal includes the line of scrimmage for PAT kicks at the 15-yard line, but also includes moving the line of scrimmage for a two-point attempt to the 1. A blocked kick or turnover could be recovered and returned for two points under this proposal, which would only be implemented in 2015.
What does recent history show for the Vikings?
PATs: The Vikings have succeeded on 146 of 148 (98.6 percent) points after touchdown kicks in the past four seasons, compared to 164 of 167 (98.2 percent) by opponents.
Kicker Blair Walsh is 108 of 109 (99.1 percent) on PAT kicks in his three pro seasons and is 4-for-4 in his career on 33-yard field goals, including three last season. Vikings opponents are 3-for-3 on 33-yard field goals in the past four seasons, with zero attempts from that distance 2011-12, two in 2013 and one last season.
The Vikings are 6-for-8 (75 percent) on two-point conversions in the past four seasons, a total boosted significantly by a perfect 4-for-4 in 2014 in their first year under Head Coach Mike Zimmer. Opponents have gone 6-for-10 (60 percent) in the past four years, but whiffed on the lone attempt last season.
If the line of scrimmage moves up to the 1, it's worth noting that Matt Asiata was 8-for-11 (72 percent) on third-and-1 attempts in 2014 and scored four of his nine rushing touchdowns from a yard out in filling in for Adrian Peterson.