the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NFL Week One: The Kickers

The first week of the 2011 NFL season saw some big kicks, especially in the evening games. On Sunday night, Nick Folk hit a 50 yard field goal with 27 seconds remaining in the game to give his current team, the Jets, a 27-24 win over his former team, the Cowboys. He began preparing for the kick with 49 seconds remaining in the game:
"As soon as [Darrelle Revis] started returning [the interception], I think I kicked two balls in the net, and I was already ready. I just said, 'Let's go'.... I hit it really well. I hit it just about as good as I could. I just trusted myself tonight, made sure it looked just like an extra point and just put it down the middle."
In the Giants 28-14 loss to Washington, kicker Lawrence Tynes returned to action after having missed the last few preseason games with a bruised thigh He saw his only field goal attempt blocked:
"I thought I hit it pretty good. I felt like I hit it like I hit all my kicks, they're not always going to be real, real high. [Holder] Steve [Weatherford] said I hit it good, it sounded good to him. Either way you look at it, it's a miss.... I got some work to do. My endurance is awful, after pregame I was gassed. It's going to take time, going to take another couple of weeks to get back in kicking shape."
David Akers got off to a good start in his new home. He was good on all four of his field goal attempts (27, 24, 31 & 18 yards) in the 49ers 33-17 win over the Seahawks.
"Just to win for Coach Harbaugh for the first and to know the family so well over the years, to be part of it is really something special. This is a franchise with great history and, obviously, the last some years have been a little on the down side. We are trying our best to change that. It takes time, but today was a good start.''
The biggest kick came at the end of the first half of the late game on Monday night. Just in case we had forgotten, Sebastian Janikowski reminded us that he has one of the strongest legs in the NFL, when he hit a record tying 63 yarder. He joins Tom Dempsey and Jason Elam atop the list for the longest field goal in NFL history. He commented afterward:
“"I had a dream I broke the record, and it was here in Denver. The ball really carries here. I didn't hit it really good, but that's no excuse. (The altitude) really helped it. ... It cleared by like one yard only....
It means a lot. I'm not big on setting goals, but I wanted to be 10 years in the league, break the record or tie the record and win the Super Bowl. Those were my three goals, and I've got two out of three. Hopefully, this year I get the third one.”

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