The NFL approved moving back extra points to the 15-yard line on Tuesday to make one of the sport's most boring plays more challenging. If history is any indication, this new 33-yard point-after attempt will lead to the same automatic results for the Baltimore Ravens as long as Justin Tucker is their kicker.
Tucker, the most accurate kicker in the league, has never missed a kick inside 37 yards, hitting all 46 attempts. He is one of three active kickers who are perfect on field goals from inside 34 yards over the last 10 seasons (minimum 20 attempts). Denver's Connor Barth and Miami's Caleb Sturgis are the others.
Even though the rule change shouldn't affect Tucker, he has opposed it since the NFL experimented with the 33-yard extra point during last preseason.
“I think the idea is to add excitement to every single play, but really what it does is make every kicker’s job a little bit harder,” Tucker told the team's website. “We play in the AFC North and we play almost every single game outside. This is a tough division to play football in in general. It takes maybe a little bit more mental toughness than playing in a dome 10 games a year.”
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 486 times during that span and made 485.
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 205 extra points.
"I don’t think the game needs to be changed unless there’s a real safety concern," Tucker said last August. "I think people are proposing some of these rule changes just because maybe they don’t have anything better to do."