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Despite Rule Changes, Colts Unlikely to Change Extra Point Strategy

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With the longer extra point now in attempt, there likely will be teams who opt to go for the two point conversion often - just don't count on the Colts being that team.

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The NFL this week adopted changes to the extra point, pushing the PAT back to the 15-yard line (making it a 33-yard kick now), keeping the two-point conversion at the two-yard line, and allowing defenses to now return a failed conversion attempt for points.

With these rule changes, it will only be a matter of time before a team opts to go for the two-point conversion much more often, as even converting at a 50% success rate would be the equivalent of hitting on every extra point.  To be sure, some team will experiment with a more aggressive two-point conversion strategy at some point.  Just don't expect that team to be the Indianapolis Colts, at least under head coach Chuck Pagano.

"No," Pagano said on Wednesday about whether he'll go for two more often, "again, a lot has to do with where we're playing.  Again, if we're on the road, it's outside and the weather conditions are bad, the wind, this, that and the other, you might think about it.  If it's not a normal 33-yarder because of conditions, then you might think about it."

The weather is the variable here, as in some conditions a 33-yard field goal is much more difficult than in others.  So while Pagano is saying there's a chance, also keep in mind that the Colts play half of their games in a dome, and their 2015 schedule is incredibly favorable weather-wise, as they travel to Buffalo early and to Miami late.  Besides for a trip to Pittsburgh in early December, it's incredibly likely that the Colts won't be playing in poor weather conditions (other than wind/rain) until at least the playoffs - and that's if they don't get home field advantage.  So all of that is to say: while there could be some scenarios in which they opt for the two-point conversion rather than the 33-yard extra point, those scenarios aren't likely to come into play often at all for the Colts in 2015.

Furthermore, Pagano knows that he has a kicker who can hit consistently from 33-yards out.  Does he sweat the rule change to push the PAT back?  "No not really," he answered.  "Obviously half the season we're going to be indoors and a little bit more than that with Houston and what not and teams we play indoors.  I don't worry about it.  If you like at the statistics last year from a normal PAT spot it was 99 (percent conversion) and change, and I think in the preseason last year the numbers only dropped about four percent to about 95 something.  The league's riddled with guys that can make 30, 33-yarders at a high rate."

One of those guys who can make 33-yarders at a high rate is Adam Vinatieri, who is still the Colts' kicker and still one of the best in the league.  As long as Vinatieri is kicking extra points for the Colts, it's likely that the Colts will often opt for the 33-yard kick rather than the two-point conversion.  And as long as he's is kicking extra points for the Colts, that's not a bad choice.