the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NFL Week 15: Fours All Around

Week 15 of the NFL concluded last night with Bears kicker Robbie Gould hitting four field goals (29, 23, 34 & 20 yards) and four extra points in Chicago's 40-14 win over Minnesota. It capped a week in which the kicks came in fours in quite a few games. In Carolina's 19-12 win over Arizona, John Kasay provided the majority of the Panthers scoring, including four field goals (28, 29, 24 & 43 yards).

Although Clint Stitser may not have as many years of NFL experience as Kasay (but then again who does), he also accounted for the bulk of his team's scoring. His four field goals (25, 39, 34 & 20 yards) led Cincinnati to a 19-17 win over Cleveland. Afterward, Stitser was pleased with his placekicking, but less so with his kickoffs:
"To execute those field goals, I'm pleased with that performance and I'm thankful and happy that everything went the way it did, especially with how efficient they are on field goal block....
Obviously, huge kudos to guys on kickoff coverage. I'm just undercutting the ball, and that's something I have to get in here and fix on my own because that is a role I have to perform well in."
At the other end of the spectrum was Miami kicker Dan Carpenter. Although he also got four field goal attempts, he missed all four of them. The Dolphins ended up losing 17-14 to the Bills. In Carpenter's defense, his "shortest" attempt was longer than the "longest" attempt by every other kicker mentioned in this article. His misses came from 48, 48, 53 & 61 yards.
"Man, I don't ever expect to have a day like this. A down day for me is missing one field goal, not four. I let our team down today. It's as simple as that.... I just didn't hit the ball well all day, obviously. It hurts knowing you cost your team a chance to win, a chance to move on into the playoffs."
Although Dallas kicker David Buehler missed a 35 yarder, he was good on four other field goals (42, 20, 20 & 39 yards) in the Cowboys' 33-30 win over the Redskins.
"It's been a roller coaster. I'm finishing pretty strong, but there's still a few games left in the season, so I've got to go out and make every kick from here on out. I've just been through most of the scenarios a kicker can go through - game-winners, game-tying, long field goals at the end of the half. So I've learned how to handle myself, not get too pumped up, and stay poised. It's definitely helped me going through all these scenarios. You keep that mental intensity. That's what you've got to do, and keep the focus high."

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