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Extra points will be just a little tougher early in preseason, starting Sunday

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner
Goodell suggests ditching the PAT kick
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FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2014, file photo, Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater (5) kicks an extra point as Broncos punter Britton Colquitt (4) holds during the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers in Denver. NFL Commissions Roger Goodell doesn't want to stand pat with the PAT. He's suggesting potential changes in the extra point that, well, might have some legs.(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

You might notice something interesting the first time either the Buffalo Bills or New York Giants score a touchdown in Sunday's Hall Of Fame Game.

The extra points will be just a little harder.

As Pro Football Talk wrote, the NFL is experimenting with the length of extra points, and for Sunday's games as well as the second week of the preseason, when the other 30 teams play games, the NFL will move the ball back from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line for all attempts.

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Two-point conversions will be declared first, taking the rare fake out of the equation, and will be tried from the standard 2-yard line.

Will this work? Will it reveal much?

Honestly, doubtful. Kicks from 33 yards out are not that much tougher from those from 20 yards. NFL kickers missed only five extra-point attempts last season, and they all 14 combined kicks from 19 yards and in. Heck, they only missed six kicks (out of 242 attempts) inside 29 yards. The number of misses goes up from 30 to 39 yards — 30 misses out of 295 — so we're talking about about a 90-95 percent certainty versus a 99-percent make rate.

That said, this change is coming. Roger Goodell has suggested scrapping the extra point, and others around the league agree with him in theory. We already have goalposts that reach five feet higher, and the NFL could make the extra-point change full time in a season or two if there are enough proponents, and right now the extra point is, as Bill Belichick once so eloquently said, a "non-competitive play."

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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