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Football Extra Point

What is an extra point in football? How many points is the extra point? What is the difference between the NFL extra point and the college football extra point? Get ready to learn about football extra points.

Football Extra Point

When a football team scores a touchdown, they have the chance to score extra points. Although there is the possibility of getting two extra points, most of the time teams opt to attempt the one-point conversion. To score that extra point, the team must kick the ball into the opposing team's goal post starting at the 15-yard line.

If the kick is successful, one point will be added to the score and the team will have scored a total of seven points in the drive, including six points from the touchdown. However, sometimes kickers miss the extra point conversion. When that happens, the team does not get the extra point, but still gets 6 points in the drive from the touchdown scored.

REMEMBER: The extra point is also known as the PAT or point after touchdown.


PRO TIP: In 2015, the NFL moved the extra point from the 2nd yard line to the 15 yard line. This made it much harder because the kick attempt is further away from the goal post.

Extra Point Strategy

Teams choose to kick the extra point when they want to be sure they will score points, as kickers convert the extra point more often than not, while a two point conversion is very risky. Unless it is absolutely necessary for a team to score two points to stay in the game, coaches will send the kicker in and attempt the extra point conversion. Check the example below:

Imagine the score is the following at the 5 minute mark on the second quarter:

If the away team scores a touchdown, the score becomes:

  • Home Team: 14
  • Away Team: 9

If the away team makes the extra kick, the score becomes:

  • Home Team: 14
  • Away Team: 10

It is ideal for the away team to go for the extra point in this case because there is no need to take the high risk of attempting a two point conversion with so much of the game left to be played and when the team is losing by only one possession. So, in a case like this, with the high conversion percentage, coaches will always opt for the extra point attempt.

LINGO ALERT: A one possession game means that a team only needs to score a field goal or a touchdown to tie the score.

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