Mike Nugent rips PAT rule change: It's 'to make guys fail more'

ByColey Harvey ESPN logo
Thursday, September 17, 2015

CINCINNATI -- CountBengalskicker Mike Nugent among those angered by the NFL's new point-after attempt rules that changed the attempt from its previous 20-yard chip shot to what appears to be a more challenging 33 yards.

"There's only one reason they moved it back -- they want us to miss more," Nugent told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Wednesday. "Whoever came up with the rule got what they wanted."

Nugent was one of four kickers who missed kicks during the first week of the season, although his was a "miss" only because his attempt was blocked at the line of scrimmage by theOakland Raiders' Justin Tuck.

"That's just part of my job -- a part I hate about my job -- but I think it's one of those things that they're getting what they want," Nugent said. "I don't like the rule because -- I could be wrong -- but I don't know of any rules that have been changed to make guys fail more."

It was this offseason that the NFL moved the PAT back in part because the league wanted to make the extra-point attempt more challenging. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that's exactly what has happened through one week.

During the 16 Week 1 games, kickers had a 94.7 percent (71-for-75) success rate on PATs. Along with Nugent, theSan Diego Chargers'Josh Lambo,Houston Texans'Randy Bullock andJacksonville Jaguars'Jason Myers missed PATs, too.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, NFL kickers missed just eight extra points all of last season, and as a whole did not miss their fourth extra point until Week 8.

"It's a rule that was changed to make players fail more, which I just don't [get]," Nugent said. "This is an offensive-driven league. Everyone wants to see points. Everyone wants to see 65-64. But to change a rule to make less points, it just confuses me, and I completely just disagree with it."

Per Stats & Information, teams last weekend also successfully made twice as many 2-point conversions as they did in Week 1 last year. Teams this season were 4-for-6 on 2-point conversions in Week 1, while going 2-for-7 on them in Week 1 of 2014. The 2-point conversion could be a way of working around the possibility of extra-point misses.

Bengals long snapper Clark Harris told the Enquirer that he wanted more time to see if opponents are scheming any particular way for blocks on PATs, but agreed with Nugent that the added distance increased the likelihood of misses.

"It's going to happen more often," Harris said. "Hopefully we get ours right, we don't get any more blocked."

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