the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, December 12, 2011

NFL Week 14: Hand vs. Foot

For the kicker, it's about getting his foot on the ball in the precise motion, on a precise spot, at a precise moment. For the defender, it's about getting his hand somewhere on the ball immediately thereafter.

In Dallas last night, the Giants were leading 37-34 with six seconds remaining. The Cowboys were attempting a potential game tying 47-yard field goal. New York DE Jason Pierre-Paul got two opportunities to try and block the kick, thanks to the weekly icing of the Dallas kicker.
"The first one, the guard blocked me. He's a strong cat, you know? He was heavy; I couldn't push him.... I didn't even know it was a timeout. I thought we were going into overtime...
The second one, I was like, 'Man, I have to push through the center to at least try to get the blocked kick. I gave great effort, and I blocked the kick. I didn't go through the guard. I stepped left and blocked through the center. It felt good."
For Cowboys' kicker Dan Bailey, who attempts a game tying or winning field goal almost every week, it was the second week in a row where the second attempt didn't go as planned.
"I felt like I hit the first one good. And I thought I was hitting the ball well today. It's one of those things and [you] look at it on tape and see what went wrong and move on....
My thoughts were 'Let's go win the game.' That’s all I can do is go out there and put it through. I'm not really sure what happened. I was never thinking, 'Oh no.' That's what I'm here for, to make field goals. It's never a negative thought. It's always positive."
In Denver yesterday afternoon, the Bears blocked a Broncos' 28 yard field goal attempt in the second quarter. In overtime however, Chicago DE Israel Idonije was unable to get a hand on the clinching 51 yard attempt, and Denver won the game 13-10.
"That last one, I had an opportunity. If I had it to do all over again, I'd change some things. He kicked it a little to the left of my hand. I put up my hand, and the ball went left. It was a good kick. I give him credit for it. He did his job."
For the Broncos it was yet another in a string of improbable late game rallies. For their kicker Matt Prater, his long range winner followed an even longer range 59 yarder that had tied the game with just three seconds remaining in regulation.
“I don’t know. We are just taking it as we can and winning games. That is all we care about – winning games. We don’t care how we get it done.”
This year I’ve had more [game winners] than I have in my whole career. I am definitely going to be bald at the end of the season; bald or gray, one of the two.”

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