Sports

Pro Bowl to Have Narrower Goal Posts, Longer Kicks on PATs

From left, John Randle, NFL Hall of Fame member and Team Carter Pro Bowl Alumni Co-Captain, Houston Texans Pro Bowl player J.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl player Antonio Brown, Cris Carter, NFL Hall of Fame member and Team Carter Pro Bowl Alumni Captain, Michael Irvin, NFL Hall of Fame member and Team Irvin Pro Bowl Alumni Captain, Darren Woodson, NFL Hall of Fame member and Team Irvin Pro Bowl Alumni Co-Captain, Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl player Joe Haden, and Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl player DeMarco Murray, pose for photographers with the Pro Bowl Trophy during the Pro Bowl Kickoff news conference Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
From left, John Randle, NFL Hall of Fame member and Team Carter Pro Bowl Alumni Co-Captain, Houston Texans Pro Bowl player J.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl player Antonio Brown, Cris Carter, NFL Hall of Fame member and Team Carter Pro Bowl Alumni Captain, Michael Irvin, NFL Hall of Fame member and Team Irvin Pro Bowl Alumni Captain, Darren Woodson, NFL Hall of Fame member and Team Irvin Pro Bowl Alumni Co-Captain, Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl player Joe Haden, and Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl player DeMarco Murray, pose for photographers with the Pro Bowl Trophy during the Pro Bowl Kickoff news conference Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

JOHN MARSHALL, AP Sports Writer

PHOENIX (AP) — The NFL is taking its extra-point experiment to the Pro Bowl.

The league has looked into making point-after kicks more difficult as kickers have become almost automatic from the short distance. The NFL moved kickers back for extra-point tries during the preseason and will try it again during Sunday’s Pro Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium, this time with the added difficulty of trying to kick through narrower uprights.

The uprights will be at the standard 18.6 feet for field goal attempts, but will be squeezed down to 14 feet on extra points. The kick also will be moved back from the 2-yard line to the 15, essentially making it a 33 1/2-yard field goal.

“We’re talking about the best of the best kickers, so we’re bringing that (the kick) back after a touchdown,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said during a Pro Bowl news conference Tuesday.

“These guys are almost perfect during the regular season, but this will allow us to see just how skilled the kicker position has become.”

Extra points have become nearly a forgone conclusion for kickers over the years, prompting the NFL to at least look at adding degrees of difficulty.

During the 2014 season, NFL kickers missed only eight of 1,235 PAT attempts (99.3 percent). Kickers made 99.6 percent of their kicks last season.

Vincent said the NFL also will add video elements from the sidelines during the Pro Bowl, though he did not elaborate.

The Pro Bowl is being played in the same city as the Super Bowl for the second time.

The game was played in Miami in 2010 before returning to Hawaii the past three years.

Captains will select the teams during the Pro Bowl draft Wednesday night.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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