the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, January 2, 2012

NFL Week 17: in the Groove

Around the NFL yesterday in the final week of the regular season...

In Arizona, the Cardinals once again went into overtime and once again won the game there. Their four overtime wins this year are an NFL record. The final and decisive points in this week's 23-20 win over Seattle came on a Jay Feely 28 yard field goal.
"I think it speaks to the character of our team. We had a lot of things go wrong throughout the year. I don't think we've had one game where we've kind of put a complete-game effort together, where we played our best, yet we didn't quit. We never stopped playing."
In Philadelphia, kicker Alex Henery hit field goals of 35 and 20 yards in the Eagles 34-10 win over the Redskins. It extended his streak of successful kicks - with his last misses being a pair of field goal back in week 4 against the 49ers. For the year he made 24 of 27 field goals for an 88.9% rate, the the highest ever for an NFL rookie.
"The game finally slowed down. You know how people say how everything goes so fast in the NFL compared to college -- and it sure did for me. That was the biggest thing for me. Once things slowed down I was hitting the ball better and I got into a groove.... After the San Francisco game it gave me a moment to step back and see how I was doing and look at the big picture. That was when it all came together."
In Cleveland, kicker Phil Dawson accounted for all the Browns' points in their 13-9 loss to the Steelers. Had his final field goal of 49 yards been just a little longer, he would have tied the NFL record for most 50 yarders in a season (eight).
"I was so in the moment I didn't even think about it. The moment I came to the sideline the guys were telling me. One yard from history. There should be some sort of difficulty factor, like in Olympic diving."

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