the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, November 8, 2010

NFL Week Nine: Three Extra Point Attempts

Extra Points are almost are a sure thing in the NFL. Almost, but not quite. A few are typically missed each year. Yesterday's games saw two missed PATs. Both, along with one that was successful, were noteworthy. One was news because of the end result, but the other two were news more so because of who was kicking.

For Buffalo Bills kicker Rian Lindell, when the Bears blocked his third quarter PAT attempt, it was the first missed extra point of his NFL career and it brought a significant streak to an end. His previous 321 consecutive PATs were the most ever by a player to start their pro career. It was also the fourth longest NFL streak ever, behind only Matt Stover, Jason Elam, and Jeff Wilkins.
"I felt fine. [Idonije] came from up the middle. If I could go back and do it again, maybe I would have chipped it a little more. It was unfortunate, especially with what happened after that....
It was the second block I ever had. I had one [field goal attempt] blocked a few years ago, so it's odd to get one blocked.... There are a couple other records I'd rather have."
Detroit also had a missed extra point, but it didn't bring an end to a streak. It was in fact the player's first kick in an NFL game. With starting kicker Jason Hanson temporarily out of the game with a knee injury, the Lions' used defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as their backup. Head coach Jim Schwartz noted:
"Ndamukong is our backup field goal kicker; he's done it in practice. We have a lot of confidence that he could kick it. It put him in a difficult situation because he went out without any warm-ups. I probably should have called a timeout and given him time to get ready."
Suh himself commented:
"I need to be ready at all times. I practice it, I just didn't execute."

New England also had to utilized a backup kicker when start Stephen Gostkowski's leg tightened up during the game. Wide receiver Wes Welker serves as the backup and has prior game experience from back in 2004 with the Dolphins.
"We just got to be ready for any sort of situation.... [smiling] As you can see, it’s an easy job... No, I’m just kidding."

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