Kickers in the NFL were put on notice when the league decided to implement a new rule change that would have an effect on the point after attempts (PAT) after the offense scores a touchdown.
The football will now be placed on the 15 yard line for PAT attempts instead of the 2 yard line where the foremost place previously. Two-point conversion attempts however will stay the same and still be attempted from the 2 yard line.
The new rule change is really just a one-year probationary change and will be reviewed and analyzed after the 2015 season is completed.
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The reason for the change is because kickers in the NFL have become more accurate and making an extra point has become close to automatic. The league is trying to come up with different ways to make the game a little more challenging while adding a little bit more excitement to the extra point attempts.
So what is this really mean for kickers around the NFL and in particular Houston Texans kicker Randy Bullock?
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Well, what it means for kickers like Bullock is that they will need to spend the off-season practising extra point attempts from the 15 yard line, making it essentially a 30 yard field goal.
Bullock has been somewhat of a disappointment since the Texans drafted him in the fifth round (161st overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Bullock's rookie season ended with him on the injured reserve. In 2013, his sophomore season, he was one of the worst kickers in the league.
He had a kicking percentage of 74.3% and only made 26 field goals on his 35 attempts.
Many fans believed that Bullock's time with the Texans had run out and when the 2014 season started the Texans would have a new starting kicker, but that wasn't the way it worked out.
In 2014, Bullock did improve and had a kicking percentage of 85.7% and made 30 of his 35 field-goal attempts. Although not spectacular, it was a marked improvement on Bullock's part.
More to come?
Can the Texans organization really believe that Bullock can improve in 2015?
Personally, I'm a little bit sceptical and have seen little from the fourth-year kicker that would make me believe that the Texans might be better off finding some competition and perhaps a potential replacement.
With kickers around the NFL becoming more reliable and accurate in the kicking game the Texans can afford to have an unreliable kicker on the team, especially with the new change in effect.
A lot of games can be won or lost with a simple field goal and now making extra points have become that much more important that teams can afford to hold their breaths in hopes that their kicker can come through for them when it counts.
To put it simply, I believe it's time for the Texans to look for Bullock's replacement and find someone who can be a little bit more reliable.
Offense, defense, and special teams are the three phases of the game and all three are just as important as the other ones.
Special teams sometimes can be overlooked, but can have a drastic outcome on the win/loss record of any particular team.
Just remember, kickers are people too.
What do you think the Texans should do about Randy Bullock and the kicking game?
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