the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NFL Week Five: 1.3 Seconds & Many Years

Long before a game kick is made, the snapper, holder and kicker will have spent countless repetitions perfecting the process which takes roughly a mere 1.3 seconds. In an effort to gain an important fraction of a second, the Giants changed holders this week - from rookie punter Matt Dodge to backup QB Sage Rosenfels. Kicker Lawrence Tynes discussed the switch:
"He’s very fast putting the ball down, so I was very pleased with Sage. I was never worried about the catch with Matt; it was more the placing. He didn’t place it as fast. Sage is very, very fast and I get to look at the ball forever."
In Washington's 16-13 win over Green Bay, Packers kicker Mason Crosby had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, however his 53 yard field goal attempt hit the upright.
"I’m just sick to my stomach about missing that kick. I lined it up, thought I hit it the way I wanted to, but obviously I didn’t. It just turned left on me and hit the upright. Everything felt good, it was tracking all the way, and it just turned. It was right down the middle, and it just turned and clipped the outside. From that distance, it has to be as precise as possible. I played the wind how I read it and obviously it turned a little more on me than I thought.... I should’ve made the kick. We definitely should’ve had a win."
Redskins kicker Graham Gano was an integral factor in the win, hitting a 45 yarder to tie the game with a minute remaining in the fourth and then hitting a 33 yard game winner in overtime.
"I was glad to had the chance to redeem myself on that... I think as a kicker, if I want to be successful, I have to forget about the kick," Gano said. "On that last one, it helps if I make that kick, everybody forgets the big miss. I think right after I miss a field goal, sure, I'm mad. I think everybody's mad. I think it's good I can just forget about that kick and focus on that next one.
I didn't really see it go through at all. Coach [Danny Smith, special teams] has been telling me to keep my head down. That's a key factor in whether I make or miss a kick. My whole thought process going out there was just keep my head down, follow through and just stay square."
During Cleveland's 20-10 loss to Atlanta, Phil Dawson hit his 234th career field goal as Brown. That ties him for the club record with Mr. Lou Groza. Dawson commented afterward:
"I'd be doing this record a disservice if I didn't take a moment and enjoy it. He's everything that's right about the Cleveland Browns. It doesn't take long to be around these parts to know who Mr. Groza was. To share the record with him means a great deal to me, especially given the fact I've been here so long and I've gained an understanding of not only what a Cleveland Brown he was but what a man he was."
Last week, Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee had one big kick (the 59 yard game winner). This week he went for quantity, with  field goals of 40, 49, 34, 40 and 46 yards. The one 40 yarder was a close call:
"It was the weirdest thing. I kind of hit the ground behind the ball a little bit. It was going down the middle, then it tails right real good, then tails back left at the last second to go two feet inside the right upright. I was thankful that one went in. That would be a members bounce right there [on the golf course]."
In the Monday Night game, kicker Nick Folk provided much of the scoring in the Jets 29-20 win over the Vikings. He hit field goals of 25, 53, 22, 34 & 31 yards and added two PATs.
"I've got to give a lot of credit to Steve and Tanner for their operation. They did a great job tonight, especially considering the elements. It really, really got rainy on my third one right before the half, and they did a great job putting the ball down."
Although the Colts added a late touchdown, the 19-9 Indianapolis win over Kansas City was primarily a field goal duel. Adam Vinatieri edged Ryan Succop four field goals to three.
"You never know what the course of the game is going to like, and every game is different. Sometimes you’re scoring touchdowns all the time, and today we had a tougher time getting into the end zone until the right at the end, but when you can keep putting up points and keep them behind us, and having them chase us, it’s a good thing."

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