Understandably, both Denver kicker Matt Prater and Seattle’s Steven Hauschka are not big fans of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s latest suggestion.
Goodell is floating the idea of eliminating the extra point in favor of giving a team seven points for a touchdown with an option of running a play for an eighth point. A failed try would cost the team a point, leaving it with six for the touchdown.
“One day I’m sure they’re going to get kickers out of the game completely, in the direction it looks like they are going,” said Prater, who ranked second in the NFL in scoring with 150 points on 25 of 26 field goals and 75 of 75 extra points. “The extra point thing is outside of my control. I don’t mind kicking them. There are some stressful extra points there sometimes, like to tie the game at the end where if you make it they expect you ‘Oh it’s an extra point you should’ve made it,’ but if you miss it everyone is all over you. It’s one those types of deals.
“It’s one of those things that is out of my control. I’m just going to keep kicking and do it as long as I can.”
Because NFL kickers made 99.6 percent of their extra points, it has been suggested that instead of eliminating them, they should be tried from farther out than 20 yards.
“I don’t know if you really want games decided on extra points,” Hauschka said. “That’s a question you’ve got to ask. I would like to keep it the way it is. You would hate to see a game be potentially tied in the last minute and have it come down to an extra point or something. There are a lot more things that can change the game more than just the extra point.”
Hauschka, who was fourth in the league with 143 points on 33 of 35 field goals and 44 of 44 extra points, also disagreed with suggestions that the goal posts should be narrowed to make extra points and field goals more difficult.
“No, keep it the way it is,” he said. “If you narrow it, you are not going to see as many long field goals, that’s for sure. A lot of those long field goals sneak through the sides. I think a couple of feet would make a big impact on field-goal percentage. I think it would be tricky. I don’t know if they would want to do that.”
Besides, some of the most memorable finishes to games have been supplied by kickers.
“You’ll never forget about Adam Vinatieri in those Super Bowls and some other big kicks,” said Prater, who set the NFL record with a 64-yard field goal earlier this season, “There are definitely some memorable kicks in key parts of games. I don’t know why they would want to take out the extra point.”