Longer extra points a 'new challenge' for Vikings' Blair Walsh


Vikings kicker Blair Walsh is ready for the challenge of kicking longer extra points next season.

On Tuesday, NFL owners adopted a rule change that will move the line-of-scrimmage on extra points to the 15-yard line, making PATs a 33-yard kick. A blocked kick, or interception or fumble recovery returned for a touchdown on a two-point conversion can now be returned for 2 points.

Walsh told the Star Tribune that he's "absolutely" ready for the challenge.

"You’ve got to be confident in what you do," Walsh said in an interview with Matt Vensel. "If somebody was telling you, 'Hey, we’re going to make your job just a little bit more important,' why wouldn’t you take it? It’s a new challenge."

Walsh was 4-for-4 on 33-yard extra point attempts during an experimental period last preseason.

Longer extra point tries are expected to make games more interesting. For example, if the Vikings score late in a game to come within one point of tying the Packers, what will head coach Mike Zimmer choose to do: kick the 33-yard extra point to tie the game or go for two in an attempt to take the lead?

In other words, PATs shouldn't be as much of a gimmie as they previously have been.

NFL teams converted 99.5 percent of extra points spotted at the two-yard line last season, the Detroit Free Press notes.

If the 33-yard kicks prove to be just as easy in 2015, the league could move them back even further in 2016.

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