the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NFL Week Four: So Exciting You Might Blackout

After a Saturday filled with an unusually large number of game winning field goals at the college level, the theme carried over into the pro games on Sunday.

Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee hit a big one as time expired. The 59 yarder gave the Jaguars a 31-28 win over the division rival Colts. Garnering as much media attention as the kick itself was Scobee's spirited victory lap afterward.
"I've never been that excited after a kick in my life. That's the third time I've hit one over 50 to beat the Colts and each one gets more and more fun.... I don't know what I was thinking. I think I blacked out for about 10 seconds. It was incredible."
Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant hit one for the second week in a row. Last week it was against the Saints in overtime, and this week it against the  49ers with two seconds remaining for a 16-14 win.
"I went out there like the week before and told myself to keep my head down and go through the ball. It wasn't as pretty as last week, but on paper it's still good.... I've beaten the odds. You cannot anticipate a timeout. You have to anticipate making the kick."
"In the kicker spot, in one minute you’re in the penthouse and in the next minute, you are in the outhouse. You’re as good as your last kick. I get to go back to the penthouse for another week. I’m liking it pretty good. The bed is more comfortable and the drinks are colder."
The big news out of New Orleans last week was the re-signing of kicker John Carney.
"It's a great situation. I feel blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to come back here and help the Saints, whether in a playing capacity or coaching capacity."
Carney was the active kicker for this week's game, and went 3 for 3 on field goals. His 25 yarder with 3:55 remaining proved to be the game winner as the Saints won 16-14 over the Panthers.
“I have no timetable. I’m just looking for my opportunities to help the team. I feel very fortunate. It would have been tougher if it wasn’t with this team. I know the personnel very well. I worked with everybody that I worked with today last year, coaches and players....
You try to be prepared. [Long snapper] Jason Kyle is one of the best in the league. We put Chase Daniel in there, and he did a very good job in his first time holding in the NFL.... I had a good opportunity to kick with Garrett this week. He’s hitting the ball well, and we’re happy to come away with a win.”
That meant that Garrett Hartley was inactive for the game. He tweeted afterward:
"Just wanted to thank all the support from the who dat nation!! Difficult times only thickens ones skin! BTW great team win yesterday and mad props for John Carney going 3 of 3 !!!"
On Monday, Hartley elaborated on the Carney signing and the current situation:
"I'm definitely not feeling threatened by it. If anything, they're trying to help me out. Taking a positive is I'm still a kicker for the New Orleans Saints in the National Football League. It really doesn't get a whole lot better than that.... I feel comfortable because he was here helping me all of last year. So it really doesn't feel like we missed a beat the way that we talk, we get along, we joke and our work ethic that we have during the practice field and even pre-game warm-ups."
While Scobee, Bryant and Carney were hearing cheers from their respective fans, Giants rookie punter Matt Dodge was subjected to boos from the New York fans during the win over Chicago on Sunday night. He has struggled so far at times this year on both punts and holding on placekicks. Nonetheless, he isn't giving up:
"It’s humbling, I haven’t punted nearly as well as I’ve wanted to yet and [Tom Coughlin] still believes in me. That helps me out a lot because I’m easily my biggest critic night in and night out. For him to give me words of encouragement it’s awesome because it's definitely a coach I looked up to growing up.... I don't want to just be good. I want to be a great punter one day."
Washington punter Josh Bidwell was back this week, after having missed the previous game when he was injured in pregame warm-ups.
“I was excited to get back out on the field. I’m a little disappointed in not handling the conditions [wind] the way I was hoping to. They were tough, I don’t really have any excuse for it. I just kind of wish I could have gauged how well I’m operating under some normal circumstances and I don’t think I got that today."
Denver kicker Matt Prater didn't hit a game winner, but his four field goals played a significant role in the Broncos 26-20 road win over the Titans. He is now 8 of 8 on field goals this year.
"I just think I'm more confident than I used to be," he said. "I just know if I do my technique and come through the ball like I should, then the ball is going to go straight and there's no distance I shouldn't make."

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