the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, September 24, 2012

NFL Week Three: Kickin' Overtime - Jason Hanson & Rob Bironas

Both kickers worked overtime in Tennessee's 44-41 win over Detroit. 

Although Titans kicker Rob Bironas had plenty of kickoffs, made five extra points, and hit field goals of 31, 38 & 26 yard fields goals (the latter of which was the winner in OT), all he wanted to discuss afterward was the two that got away (41 and 48 yard attempts that went wide left). The first miss broke his streak of twenty consecutive field goals made.
"I should have hit the two earlier and we wouldn’t have been in that position. It wasn’t my prettiest game, but the boys stepped up and picked up my slack....
You’d like to get 21, but streaks are made to be broken."
Lions kicker Jason Hanson was even busier. On placekicks, he made all three of his extra points and all four of his field goals (47, 53, 33, 26 yards).

Like Bironas, Hanson also had plenty of kickoffs, although one was an onside attempt which was successfully recovered by team mate Amari Spievey. That allowed the Lions to score two touchdowns in the final 18 seconds of the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Last but not least, Hanson averaged 39.3 yards on three punts, placing one inside the twenty yard line. Why was he punting? He took over the role after starting punter Ben Graham was injured in the first quarter. Hanson discussed his day of punting:
"I wasn't comfortable at all. But I was glad to just catch the ball and get it off. At least get it out of the way. It wasn't good by NFL standards, but it was good by old-kicker-haven't-punted-in-a-long-time standards.... It's been years, I think [since fully practicing]. I've punted the ball out of my hand. But live with the team and catching the snap, it's been awhile."
Were it not for a mix-up, Hanson would have gotten another opportunity in overtime to re-tie the game. On  a 4th-and-1, the Lions were trying to draw the Titans off sides, but backup quarterback Shaun Hill took the snap and came up short on a sneak. Head coach Jim Schwartz noted:
"I was getting ready to call time out, but unfortunately that's where we were."

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