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NFL will test longer extra points for two weeks in the preseason

Washington Redskins kicker Kai Forbath (2) kicks an extra point as teammate Sav Rocca holds during an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


The NFL’s owners have voted down a proposal to move the spot of the ball on extra points to the 25-yard line. But in a sign that the league is moving in the direction of making extra points more difficult, it will experiment with longer kicks in the preseason.

In Week One and Week Two of this year’s preseason, the ball will be spotted at the 20-yard line for extra point kicks. That makes them the equivalent of a 38-yard field goal -- still fairly easy for an NFL kicker, but more difficult than the 20-yard distance for extra points under regular-season rules.

Although the league is probably never going to experiment with any of the wackier extra point proposals like making the player who scored the touchdown kick the extra point, there does seem to be a bit of momentum for changing extra points to make them slightly more challenging -- and therefore slightly more interesting for fans.

Right now, extra points are good more than 99 percent of the time, and they usually function as nothing more than an extended bathroom break for fans. The preseason experiment is one step toward making extra points worth watching.