The NFL made extra points a little harder to earn. The league added distance to the after touchdown point attempt at last month’s NFL owners meetings, making the kicking attempt less of an automatic conversion.
Those attempts have been moved from the 2-yard line to the 15, forcing kickers to hit a 33-yard field goal conversation for the extra point.
That’s of little concern to the Raiders. Special teams coordinator Brad Seely believes strong-legged Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski is up to the challenge.
“I think anytime you make a rule that makes it harder, it always favors the guys that have more talent,” Seely said last week. “I think we have really talented kickers, so I don’t think that rule, maybe, will be as big a deal to us as it might be to somebody else in the sense that our guys are pretty good at 33-yard kicks.”
That’s certainly true. Janikowski has only missed two field goal attempts inside 39 yards in the last seven years. A 33-yard attempt is converted at a roughly 94 percent clip.
Janikowski isn’t concerned by the extra distance.
“It is what it is. It’s a rule you have to follow,” Janikowski told the team website. “It’s going to make a difference in late games, November, December, windy games, snow. [It’s] going to be a difference in the games, win or lose.
““It’s not going to be a gimmee, percentage is going to be lower I think. The guys in this league are so good, we’re going to adjust to it.”
Seely believes the added distance could create more two-point conversions, especially in bad-weather games.
“There’s a big difference between eight points and seven points,” Seely said. “It’s hard to catch up on that other point as you play a football game in pro football. So that could be a case where somebody is willing to try and go for that. I think it’s always a makeup of what your offense is, too. You feel good about your running game? Do you feel like you can get two yards? Do you feel better about the point? I think as we go, we’ll find out more about it but, as today, they just made it a little bit harder for the kicker, but I don’t know if it’s changing the game.”