This past off season, the NFL decided to step up to the plate and finally change the most boring play (at least statistically speaking) in football - the extra point. This season, extra point tries will be moved back to the 15 yard line, and teams that decide to go for two will do so from the two-yard line.
Canada instituted similar changes this year, and it looks to have paid immediate dividends as the first CFL game took place last night.
Back in April, citing a success rate on normal PAT tries of 99.4%, the CFL made the decision to move the one-point attempt from being snapped on the the 12-yard line, back to the 32. Two-point tries were moved from the five-yard line to the three. The league up North also kicked around the idea of a three-point play, which would have been the result of a successful play from the 10.
Last night, during the CFL season opener between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Montreal Alouettes, the Redblacks decided to go for two after scoring their first touchdown of season, and the scramble from three-yards out was successful for two points. That may not seem like a big deal, but as PFT points out, the league saw only seven successful two-point attempts during the entire 2014 season
Here's what the Alouettes PAT looked like after scoring the first points of the CFL season last night. Spoiler alert - they missed on the attempt.
Doesn't a two-point attempt from inside the five look so much more appealing than that? *Every offensive coordinator with swagger in the country shakes his head yes*
Below is the Redblacks two-point attempt from last night, down 13-5 midway through the third quarter.
If last night is any indication, as CFL teams are faced with the decision to kick from the 25 for a point, or attempt a play from the three-yard line after a touchdown, expect to see a lot more teams follow the lead of the Redblacks. It just makes sense.
The play-it-safe NFL made a pretty minor change to their PAT rule, so don't be surprised to see teams continue to play conservatively in a few months when the NFL season starts, while the CFL went a bit more "outside of the box" with theirs and it's already paying immediate dividends.
If the real goal is excitement, the CFL (which already oozes excitement with vast 25 yard end zones and multiple players allowed to be in forward motion before the snap) may have the formula for the NFL to follow.