The NFL has officially revamped the rule for the point after try. The owners voted Tuesday to move the extra point kick back to the 15-yard line, thus creating a 33-yard attempt. The league will continue to place the ball on the 2-yard line for 2-point attempts, but the other change will allow the opposing defense to return turnovers. Previously, the play was whistled dead if there was a turnover. Returns will be worth two points as well. Finally, if a team goes for two and is penalized with a false start or other procedural penalty, they will be allowed to kick from the 20 or 25 depending on the penalty:
If team lines up for 2 points and is penalized, can move back to kick for 1 point. Back to 20 after 5-yard penalty, back to 25 for holding.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) May 19, 2015
The idea behind making this change was that the extra point would no longer become such a sure thing, and teams might be more inclined to go for the two point conversion. I imagine most coaches will view the 33-yard attempt as sufficiently close enough to stick with the PAT try. However, analytics dictate a team is better off going for two in this new situation.
Smart coaches will now generally go for 2 (roughly 0.99 exp pts) instead of 1 (now roughly 0.91 exp pts based on 2013-2014).— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) May 19, 2015
I am particularly curious to see how the 49ers handle this situation. They have built up their analytics under Paraag Marathe. He would understand the value of going for 2 instead of 1 in this new scenario, and might be inclined to push the coaching staff to consider more 2-point attempts. I'd like to think we'll see a team more willing to go for two, but sometimes it is hard to change coaches mentalities on this kind of thing. Marathe had his own charts for Jim Harbaugh when it come to different game-day decisions. Maybe we see this influence with two-point conversions.