The Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills didn’t just ring in a new year for football, it also presented a couple of innovative changes the NFL has brought to the forefront.
First, the league debuted its new Surface tablets on the sidelines. Coaches no longer have to look at black-and-white photos of plays 30-40 seconds after they happen. They can look at them five seconds after they occur.
Secondly, extra points were moved back from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line in a preseason experiment designed to make the chip-shot point more difficult. Last season, the conversion rate for extra points was over 99 percent. In fact, there were only five failed extra-point attempts all year.
The NFL is hoping that by moving the ball back 13 yards, more drama will ensue because of the increased difficulty of the kick.
So far, the 33-yard extra point hasn’t made life hard for kickers. There were three extra points in Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game and all three kicks were successful. That said, it’ll be interesting to see what happens as other games kick off starting Thursday.