The 32 NFL owners will meet this afternoon in San Francisco, and they could emerge tonight with consensus to change the extra point rules that have been commonplace for more than a century.
- The Competition Committee Plan: Scoring teams may kick an extra point from the 15-yard line or go for two from the 2-yard line. If the defensive team takes possession of the ball by either blocking the kick, intercepting a pass, or recovering a fumble, it may return the ball to the opposite end zone for two points, mirroring the extra point rules in college and high school football. The rule would be for the 2015 season only.
- The Patriots Plan: Same as above, except the defensive team can not return the ball for two points and the rule change would be permanent.
- The Eagles Plan: Same as the Competition Committee Plan except a two-point try is moved up a yard to the 1-yard line.
Since the league office has decided missing extra points would add necessary excitement to the game, moving the ball back to the 15 feels like a half-measure. NFL kickers converted 99.5 percent of all PAT tries over the past four years... and 90.1 percent of all 30-to-39-yard field goals in 2014. If the goal is to incentivize coaches to go for two the league may need to move the ball back further, but perhaps the NFL views 2015 as a toe-in-the-water season to allow coaches to adjust.
This is why the Patriots' plan seems the most unlikely to pass: 24 owners would have to vote it into the rule book tonight, and then 24 owners would have to vote it out of the rule book thereafter. Plans forwarded by the league office and the Eagles allow for a clear opportunity to tweak the rule since they would expire after next February's Super Bowl.
As Peter King writes here, the Eagles' plan is unlikely to win the day, either, since it invites too much opportunity for injury to quarterbacks:
The process of elimination says the Competition Committee's plan is most likely to receive approval - if indeed the owners feel strong enough to change the rule in the first place - which feels right considering it's the most sensible of the three options.
Our prediction here is that the NFL passes the Competition Committee plan for 2015 and then moves extra points back even farther for 2016 and beyond.