NFL tries smaller posts, longer PATs

PHOENIX -- Adam Vinatieri and Cody Parkey won't have as easy of a Pro Bowl as they were expecting.

The NFL is narrowing the goalposts for Sunday's game, moving them from 18.6 feet wide to 14 feet wide, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said at a Pro Bowl news conference Tuesday at the Arizona Biltmore.

And as the league did early in the preseason, extra points will be moved back to the 15-yard-line, making them 33.5-yard attempts, Vincent added.

"It'll allow us to see exactly how skilled the kicker position has actually become," Vincent said.

Kickers made 83.9 percent of all field goals in 2014 -- including 77.4 percent from 40 to 49 yards and 61 percent of field goals 50 yards or longer -- and 99.3 percent of extra points.

The NFL experimented with moving extra points back to the 15-yard line during the first two preseason games of 2014 and the results didn't change much -- only eight PATs were missed in 141 attempts (94.3 percent). By comparison, only eight extra points out of 1,230 attempts were missed during the 2014 regular season.

Indianapolis' Vinatieri and Philadelphia's Parkey, who replaced New England's Stephen Gostkowski, will kick in Sunday's Pro Bowl. Their teams will be determined during Tuesday's draft, which will include kickers, punters, special-teamers, and all interior defensive and offensive linemen.

Vinatieri hit 96.8 percent of his field goals last season while Parkey nailed 88.9 percent of his. Neither missed an extra point.

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