Multiple Missed Extra Points Not the Disaster You’d Expect

Multiple Missed Extra Points Not the Disaster You’d Expect
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

As bizarre as it was the Dallas Cowboys missed four extra points in their Wild Card game at the Tampa Bay Bucs Monday night and still won, 31-14, it hardly stands alone in NFL lore.

There is no legal betting in the state of Texas yet, but it no doubt drove would-be bettors and Cowboys fans crazy. Not that crazy, though, since the Cowboys breezed to victory.

During the Super Bowl Era, when extra points became fairly automatic, found there had been 10 NFL games in which one team missed three or more extra point tries. Maher, who suffered through the embarrassment of those four errant PATs, makes it 11.

How Have 3+ Missed Extra Points Affected Their Team? utilized to find the data behind all the kickers who missed three or more field goals during a game and looked at the game’s outcome.

No. of Games with 3+ Missed PATRecord of Teams

In those 10 games, the team that misfired on multiple one-point conversions actually went 7-3, so the missed kicks often didn’t affect the outcome on the scoreboard.

The most recent game in which the one-point conversion was missed at least three times also involved Tampa Bay, when the Bucs defeated Atlanta, 35-22, in November 2019. 

Matt Gay was the Buccaneers’ kicker in that game. Gay had a tough time in Tampa Bay but eventually signed with the Los Angeles Rams. There, he enjoyed a much better season in 2021 and went on to kick a field goal and two extra points in helping the Rams win Super Bowl LVI.

As a rule, in order to miss three extra points, a team has to be scoring a fair amount to begin with and that was certainly the case when the Rams beat the Atlanta Falcons, 59-0, in December 1976 while missing three PATs.

Before the Super Bowl Era, there were three games when a team failed on four extra point tries — in 1944, 1945 and 1955 — but in those days, place-kicking was far more challenging. In those three games, the team missing the four extra points went 1-1-1.

Hopefully, for kickers, there comes an opportunity to be the hero.  

In 1944, against Philadelphia, Washington failed to get the extra point after its first four touchdowns.  But with Eagles leading, 31-30, in the fourth quarter, Washington’s Joe Aquirre nailed the PAT to salvage the tie.

After the 1944 season, Aquirre, also an end, was named All-NFL.

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Bill Ordine
Senior Journalist

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News.

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