A PAT, or "point(s) after touchdown," happens after a team scores a touchdown in football. It's an exciting and often crucial play, and it can be confusing to understand what goes on in the game because it all happens so quickly.
How long is a PAT in the NFL?
In the NFL, PAT's are taken from the 15-yard-line, making it a 33-yard attempt. College football and most lower leagues still take their PAT's from the two-yard-line, making it a 20-yard attempt. The vast majority of PAT's are converted, with the average success rate being over 95%. However, in some high-pressure situations, such as when the game is on the line or in overtime, even the best kickers can miss.
A PAT is worth one point. However, there is a second type of PAT in NFL called two point conversion which is worth two points. The two point conversion can be attempted after a touchdown is scored, and it is worth one more point than a regular touchdown.
There are two ways to convert a two point conversion: by running the ball into the end zone, or by passing the ball into the end zone. If the team fails to convert, they will not receive any points.
The decision to attempt a two point conversion is usually made by the head coach, after consulting with his staff and players. It is generally considered a risky play, as it gives the opposing team an opportunity to score if they intercept the ball or stop the offense from reaching the end zone.
Two point conversions were first used in the NFL in 1994, and they have been widely used since then. In recent years, some teams have been successful in converting them at a high rate, while others have struggled.
Common misconceptions about PATs
There are a few misconceptions about PATs out there. Let's set the record straight..
A lot of people think that the holder for a PAT must be the quarterback. That is not true! Any player can serve as the holder for a PAT, as long as they meet the requirements outlined in the NFL rulebook.
The snap for a PAT does not have to be from center. In fact, it can be snapped from anywhere on the field, as long as it's behind the line of scrimmage.