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NFL eliminates PATs after a team wins on the final play

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Likely spurred by the Minneapolis Miracle

Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The NFL adopted another rule change on Wednesday at the NFL League Meetings, and while it may not have been specifically proposed by the Minnesota Vikings, something that they were involved in may have had something to do with it.

The league has decided that if a team wins with a touchdown on the final play of regulation, they will no longer be required to attempt the conversion afterwards.

The impetus for this may have been the Minneapolis Miracle, when Case Keenum found Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard touchdown pass on the final play of regulation that gave the Vikings a 29-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints in this year’s Divisional Playoffs. While the Vikings had taken the lead and the clock showed 0:00, the game was not officially over until the Vikings attempted some sort of PAT. It took a long enough period of time, but the Saints eventually decided to trot about eight players out for the extra point, at which time the Vikings took a knee and celebrated their victory.

As the article from Pro Football Talk linked above points out. . .and in something that’s totally unintentional by the NFL, I’m sure. . .this is likely going to have more of an effect on point spreads. After all, the line for Saints/Vikings was Vikings -5.5, and the Minneapolis Miracle gave the Vikings a five-point victory. There were a bunch of people that were probably very happy that the Vikings didn’t have to attempt an extra point. . .and likely an equal number of people that were very angry for the same reason.

It’s a rare instance when a team wins with a touchdown on the final play of regulation in the NFL, and the Minneapolis Miracle was the first time it happened in the postseason in NFL history. Now, the next time it happens, the winning team won’t have to stand around and wait for the opponent to decide they want to show up before officially celebrating their victory.