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  • Matt York / AP

    San Francisco 49ers kicker Phil Dawson (9) kicks the game winning field goal against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. The 49ers won 23-20. (AP Photo/ Matt York)

  • Randall Benton /

    Special Teams

    49ers kicker: Both sides treasure the reliability of their kickers. San Francisco brought in veteran PK Phil Dawson (9) as a free agent after David Akers flopped last season. Dawson has excelled, and he beat Green Bay in the wild-card round with a final-second field goal through the frigid night air. Punter Andy Lee (4) has been a perennial Pro Bowler.

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    Five things NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should work on before eliminating the extra-point kick:

    Playoff seeding: Winning a division should merit a playoff berth, but it shouldn’t merit a home game. Exhibit A: The 12-4 49ers at the 8-7-1 Packers.

    All-star Super Bowl officiating crew: How about giving the top-rated crew the game, instead of a group of guys who’ve yet to work together?

    Pro Bowl: No doubt picking teams will be fun for Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice, but is that a reason to continue an all-star “game” that has long since lost its luster?

    Preseason games: Two is plenty. The league knows it. The fans know it. Shoot, the Canadian Football League knows it.

    Dead week: Play the Super Bowl the week after the conference championships. It’s not as if ratings will suffer because fans gorged on one fewer week of hype.

    – Jeff Caraska


What should the NFL do about the point-after-touchdown kick?

Leading Off: NFL considers kicking aside point-after try

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 - 11:01 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 - 11:28 am

Roger Goodell has a point about the extra point.

The point-after-touchdown attempt is no longer much of an attempt. The 20-yard kick is nearly as automatic – and just as compelling – as a four-pitch intentional walk in baseball.

The NFL commissioner said Monday in an interview on NFL Network that the league’s competition committee is looking into a proposal that would abolish the extra-point attempt and award seven points for every touchdown.

Why not? This past season, kickers made 1,256 of 1,261 extra-point attempts – a 99.6 percent success rate.

If teams wanted to try for an eighth point after a touchdown – currently a two-point conversion – they could attempt a run or pass from the 2-yard line. But there would be a risk: If a team failed in its extra-point play, that team would get only six points for the touchdown, losing one point.

Goodell says the possible change would assure fans that every play is based on risk and reward and not one that is so automatic players often just go through the motions.

But instead of banning the extra-point kick, why doesn’t the league consider making it more challenging?

Maybe they could move the ball back to the 20-yard line for the PAT, making it a 37-yard attempt, a distance every NFL kicker can make. But it wouldn’t be automatic and defenses would make more of an attempt at a block.

If Goodell wants more excitement, make teams work for every point. How can you add a point by subtraction?

– Victor Contreras

What to watch

NBA, Kings at Houston, 5 p.m., CSNCA : The Kings already have beaten the Rockets twice this season.

Today’s poll

What should the NFL do about the point-after- touchdown kick?

• Leave it as it is.

• Abolish it and award seven points for touchdowns.

• Move the ball back to the 20-yard line.

Vote above, or go to

Tuesday’s results

Will the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick ever complete a do-or-die pass to win a championship?

• Yes, he’ll grow from the experience: 70%

• No, he can’t handle the pressure: 30%

Total votes: 242

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Read more articles by Victor Contreras

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