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The NFL is finalizing its plans to embed small data chips into footballs that will be used in preseason and Thursday night regular-season games.
No, it’s not to prevent another Deflate-gate from happening, though that would also make sense.
NFL officials are hoping to use the chips gather data about field goals and gauge how close to the uprights each field goal attempt is. The NFL hopes to use this data to determine how many additional kicks would be missed if the uprights were brought closer together. The end result may very well be adjusted and narrower uprights and other sweeping changes in officiating.
The problem officials are dealing with is that the extra points are too easy to win as of now. In 2015, NFL kickers made an impressive 84.5% of attempts, which was the second-highest rate in history, according to ESPN. Last season, the NFL went so far as to push back field goal attempts to 33-yard kicks.
Aside from gauging field goals, the chips can also help referees make more accurate in-game calls, more precisely measuring where a runner is ruled down. While players have worn RFID tags and chips in the past, this is the first time that chips will be inserted into game balls, according to Techcrunch.