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NFL declares longer extra point experiment a success by making rule permanent

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The NFL's tougher extra point rules made kickers drop from 99.3 percent in 2014 to 94.2 percent in 2015.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The experimental rule change to make extra points more difficult was a success in the eyes of the NFL, and the league officially adopted it as a permanent change on Tuesday.

When the NFL decided to push extra-point attempts to the 15-yard line, the rule change was made on an experimental basis, meaning tries were set to return to the 2-yard line in 2016. However, the NFL unsurprisingly adopted the experiment as a permanent change to the rule book.

In 2015, with extra points backed up another 13 yards, kickers still managed to knock through 94.2 percent of the attempts on the year. But that added up to 71 misses in the regular season. In 2014, only eight extra points were missed all season and 26 teams finished the year without a single failed attempt.

On just one Sunday in December, more extra points were missed than the entire 2014 season combined.

While the missed extra points proved meaningless in a lot of the games in 2015, New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski had his first failed attempt in 9 years during the AFC Championship, which proved costly. He pushed the kick wide right against the Denver Broncos, and when the Patriots scored a touchdown with just seconds remaining in the game, the team instead had to go for a two-point conversion, which proved unsuccessful.

The experimental rule change in 2015 also allowed for blocked extra points to be returned for a score for the defense. The New Orleans Saints took advantage with a block in December that was returned by Stephone Anthony for two points against the Carolina Panthers. That rule was also made permanent by the competition committee.