September 07, 2006

Foot game has made giant strides over the years in NFL: This is a bit lengthy, but it is an interesting look at the evolution of special teams, particularly kickers, in the NFL. There are a few somewhat surprising statistics comparing field goal kickers then and now.

posted by Howard_T to football at 08:04 AM - 7 comments

After I posted this, I found 3 more articles about kicking. One is a look at the psychology of field goal kicking. The other 2 are close-ups of Adam Vinatieri and his replacement with the Patriots, Stephen Gostkowski. All 4 articles make for interesting reading.

posted by Howard_T at 08:31 AM on September 07

I realize field goals and extra point-kicking are a part of the game, and will remain a part of the game, but I absolutely hate it. There's nothing worse than seeing a tough, physical football game played, then be decided by a 5-5, 145 lb. dude. The ultimate is during the NFL's ridiculous overtime setup, where the first team that gets the ball manages to get down and win a game with a 40 yarder. Teams that can't punch the ball in the end zone should have to suffer without points, and the game itself would be much more interesting. All point-after attempts should also require going for two with all actual football players on the field. It really takes away from a game when a team merely sets up for a field goal attempt rather than try for the touchdown.

posted by dyams at 10:21 AM on September 07

As important as they are on the field, would you still take one earlier than the 9th round in your fantasy draft?

posted by elovrich at 10:56 AM on September 07

I was in a 14 team draft with 15 rounds a couple of nights ago, and I took my kicker in the 14th round. Any kicker can have a decent game at any unpredictable time. Last year Buffalo's kicker wasn't taken by any fantasy teams in my leagues, then he kicks five freakin' field goals in the first game. Ridiculous.

posted by dyams at 11:07 AM on September 07

then he kicks five freakin' field goals in the first game. Ridiculous. dyams, this is more a testimony to the Bills' offense (or lack thereof) than to his kicking prowess. As the article on kicking psychology said, almost any NFL kicker can have a great game. The differentiating factor is how well the kicker works under the pressure of the late-game, big game situation. By the way, I agree wholeheartedly about the NFL overtime. I feel they ought to go to something like the college overtime rules, but start at the 40 instead of the 25. This means that a team would have to get at least one 1st down before a field goal was practical.

posted by Howard_T at 12:03 PM on September 07

I have always thought that the job of NFL kicker has to be about the best job in the universe, and no I wouldn't care if it meant being stereotyped as a balding foreigner who's goal in life is to "keek touchdowns". When you consider the salary ($275,000 minimum for rookies this year, higher for vets), the actual amount of work you do in a given week and the front row seats. How could you lose?

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 08:52 PM on September 07

Heh heh, Garo was a much better keeker than a passer. That picture of Norwood says it all (or nothing) about a kickers life, too.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:44 PM on September 07

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