OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- In five days, the Baltimore Ravens will open the preseason against the San Francisco 49ers and kicker Justin Tucker will need to kick from 33 yards to convert an extra point. And Tucker isn't looking forward to it.
This is part of the NFL's experimentation to make extra points harder. In the first two preseason games this year, the ball for point-after kicks will move back from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line for all attempts.
While this is just a trial run, some believe it indicates the league is moving in the direction of making extra points more difficult.
"If there is a rule change, we’ll adapt and overcome," Tucker said. "But I don’t think the game needs to be changed unless there’s a real safety concern. I think people are proposing some of these rule changes just because maybe they don’t have anything better to do."
The NFL is trying to add more drama to what has become the most automatic part of football. And no team has been more automatic than the Ravens.
Since 2001, the Ravens lead the NFL with a 99.8 percent success rate on extra points. They have lined up for the PAT 444 times during that span and made 443.
The Ravens' only miss came on Nov. 16, 2009, when Steven Hauschka had an extra point blocked at Cleveland. Hauschka was waived three days later.
Since this miss, the Ravens have watched Billy Cundiff and Tucker combine to convert the last 164 extra points.
"I’m so concerned about them taking the kick out of football, taking the ‘foot’ out of football," Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said. "We need that play in our game. And if that’s what it takes to keep the PAT in the game, I’m all for it.”