A point after touchdown play in college football or the NFL is frequently thought of as routine. But, that’s not always the case. Sometimes that one point can mean the difference between a win and a loss. Read on to find out more.
What is a PAT in football?
The definition of a PAT means a point after touchdown. Also referred to as an extra point, a PAT is a play where teams attempt a short field goal worth one point following a touchdown.
Key Takeaways about Point after Touchdown
PATs are converted at an extremely high rate in the NFL, but that rate has seen a decline in recent years.
College football and NFL kick PAT’s from different spots on the field.
Converted PAT’s are only worth one point but can be returned by the defense for two points if blocked.
How far is a PAT in football?
In the NFL, PAT’s are taken from the 15-yard-line, making it a 33-yard attempt. College football and most lower leagues still take their PAT’s from the two-yard-line, making it a 20-yard attempt.
Which NFL kickers holds the record for most successful PATs in a row?
Stephen Gostkowski kicked 479 extra points in a row successfully – 523 if you include post-season.
Do teams have to attempt a PAT?
Teams do not have to attempt a PAT. They have two options: attempting a PAT for one point or attempting a two-point conversion for two points. Teams usually take the PAT unless they need the two points later in the game.
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Who invented the two-point conversion?
College football began using the two-point conversion in 1958. The American Football League (AFL) implemented the two-point conversion for its complete 10-year existence from 1960 to 1969. It wasn’t until 1994 that the NFL adopted the rule. Learn more about the AFL.
How successful are NFL teams when they attempt two-point conversions?
NFL teams convert on two-point conversion attempts about 49% of the time per NFL records in 2018 and 2019. On one-point tries, the conversion rate is about 94%.
That raises the question, should NFL teams be going for two more often? The numbers suggest “yes”!
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Can you fake a PAT in the NFL?
Yes, you can fake a PAT attempt; however, it is rare. In the NFL, teams who attempt a two-point conversion get the ball at the two, so trying a fake PAT from the 15-yard-line would mean that they would have to get more yards than lining up for a standard two-point conversion. Faking a PAT is a precarious move when you could get the ball at the two-yard-line instead.
Can the defense block a PAT?
The defense can attempt to block an extra point. Just as a normal field goal, the PAT can be stopped. If it is blocked, the defense can also run it to their end zone for two points.
Another way to score off a PAT attempt is through the nearly impossible one-point safety. This has never happened in the history of the NFL, but it is possible and has happened in college football. A one-point safety would be recorded if the team defending the PAT were to maintain possession of the ball at some point outside the end zone. That player would then have to run into his own end zone and get tackled for the one-point safety.
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PAT Conversion Regression in the NFL
In 2016, the average percentage of made PAT attempts was 93.6%, the lowest in league history. This is because the NFL moved the PAT attempt back 14 yards. Similar to most other football leagues, NFL kickers attempted PAT’s from the two-yard-line. Since 2015, NFL kickers have attempted PAT’s from the 15-yard-line, which has caused a much worse conversion percentage in the NFL.
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