NFL kickers set a new record on Sunday, but it’s not one worth boasting about.
Kickers missed a combined 12 PATs the field goal teams kick after scoring a touchdown that’s often considered guaranteed edging the previous record of 10 botched kicks set 46 years ago. Two kickers, Mike Nugent and Robbie Gould, each missed two PATs on Sunday.
Why so many? Well, in 2015 the NFL increased the PAT distance, leaving kickers with a 33-yard attempt instead of a relatively automatic 20-yard attempt. Kickers struggled with the change last season, but this year it’s reached new lows.
Clearly, PATs aren’t as easy as they once were.
NFL kickers broke a 46-year old record missing 12 extra point attempts during Sunday’s action. https://t.co/QE5acENxrX
NFL (@NFL) November 21, 2016
Indeed, PATs from the old distance were routine to the point where they became “ceremonial,” according to one football executive. NFL owners voted to shift that paradigm in hopes of making PATs more challenging and entertaining.
Though Sunday’s in-stadium fans joined in a collective groan, folks on social media definitely had some fun with the historically awful day for kickers.
NFL fans have taken to the streets to protest how awful all the kickers have been: pic.twitter.com/OVqVY4xJDH
NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) November 21, 2016
Kickers have missed a new NFL-record 11th extra point after Steven Hauschka’s XP attempt was blocked pic.twitter.com/pbHTLPYAda
120 Sports (@120Sports) November 20, 2016
Kickers had a 99.3 percent success rate on PATs in 2014, a year before the rule change. In 2015, that percentage dropped to 94.2, the lowest figure in decades.
With Sunday’s performance, 2016 isn’t looking so good in that department.