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Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos welcomes 33-yard extra points

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos (5)
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos (5) The Kansas City Star

The competitive extra point? Cairo Santos said move it back and bring it on.

This season, an NFL rule change pushes the extra point line of scrimmage to the 15, with the ball placed on the 2 for two-point conversions.

“I don’t think it effects much, and I look at it as a positive thing,” Santos said.

The percentages suggest Santos is correct about the impact. Last season, kickers made 99.6 percent of extra points with five misses in 1,267 attempts. The Chiefs were one of 26 teams that made all of theirs.

Santos also made 25 of 30 field goals, including six of seven from 30 to 39 yards.

“I think every kicker expects to make a 33-yard field goal 100 percent of the time,” Santos said. “It’s an opportunity for us kickers to increase our value.”

Last season, the NFL experimented with the long extra point in the preseason, when kickers made 94.3 percent of their kicks.

The longer extra point also adds a strategic element as teams contemplate the percentages. Last season, teams went 27 for 56 (48.2 percent) on two-point conversions.

Will the extra point prove less certain enough for teams to attempt more two-pointers?

There’s another twist. The ball will be live after an extra point or two-point attempt. The defense will have a chance to score two points if they force a turnover.

Also, a penalty will bring another consideration to the decision makers. If the defense is offside on an extra-point kick, the team can choose to move the ball from the 15 to the 1 and attempt a two-pointer. Last year, teams scored a rushing or passing touchdown on 57.5 percent of snaps from the 1, according to stats gathered by the Boston Globe.

If the offensive team is lined up for a two-point conversion and is called for false start, the team could run another two-point play from the 7 or attempt an extra point from the 20.

Wherever he’s kicking, Santos has plenty of confidence in his ability, and the Chiefs have confidence in him. Santos is the only kicker in camp.

“I love taking all the reps,” Santos said. “I do love competition as well, but being the guy who can take all the reps, it’s more reps for me to get better.”

To Santos, getting better means one thing.

“I want to make the kicks I didn’t make last year,” he said. “I felt like I definitely had the legs to make all the kicks but I misjudged the wind. I know I can make those kicks I missed.”

Kicking into the wind became Santos’ off-season chore, and even on the most inclement days, he draws a line on the field.

“From 50 in, I need to make every kick,” Santos said.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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