the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, October 15, 2012

NFL Week Six: Almost - Greg Zuerlein, Dan Bailey & Jay Feely

With the typical NFL kicker now making approximately 6 out of every 7 field goal attempts, the 1-in-7 miss garners increasing attention. Especially when it occurs in a close game. Even more so when it occurs at the very end of a close game. Such as these three from yesterday...

After making two first quarter field goals, extending his NFL career beginning streak to fifteen straight, Rams rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein missed his next three kicks. The big one, figuratively and literally, came on the final play of the game. He missed wide left from 66 yards. Had he made it, it would have tied the game and would have set the NFL record for longest field goal ever (besting the current mark of 63 yards shared by four players). Miami won 17-14 over St. Louis.
"Just based on feel, I think I came across the ball a little bit (on the first two misses.... [The 66 yarder] was the same as the other ones before. Good snap, good hold, bad kick. I just didn’t do my job. There’s not much more to say about it. I just didn’t do my job and it cost my team the game."
Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey had a chance to win the game in the final seconds. His 51 yard field goal attempt went wide left. Baltimore won 31-29 over Dallas.
"I hit it pretty good. I wouldn't say it was at the end of my range. It was just, it didn't go in.... It's obviously not a good feeling. Everybody worked their butts off today. It came down to a kick, and it didn't go in. You know? I really don't know what else to say except it hurts, and I'm going to do my best to make the next one."
It was Bailey's first miss of the season, having made his first eight field goals.
"The number of attempts I don’t think plays a factor into anything going forward. It is what it is. That’s just really a non-factor. My job is to make every kick regardless if I made 20 or not had any. To me, that’s a non-factor.... I really thought I stuck the ball well. But things happen with kicks. Yeah, it is what it is. It didn’t go in. I don’t want to over-analyze it and say it was the wind or anything else. It just didn’t go in this time. I will learn from it and move forward."
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/10/14/4334943/bailey-says-there-were-no-flaws.html#storylink=cpy
For Cardinals kicker Jay Feely, the final two minutes of the fourth quarter went from one extreme to the other. With 1:09 remaining, he hit a personal and club record 61 yard field goal to tie the game. After quickly forcing Buffalo to punt, Arizona set up a 38 yard game-winning attempt for the final play. But Bills defender Alex Carrington got a hand on the ball and the kick hit the upright, no good. Buffalo went on to win 19-16 in overtime.
"Obviously, I was excited. It was one of the best kicks I’ve ever had, (but) it negates it when we don’t win the game.... You go from on top of the world to feeling about as low as you can feel. You have an opportunity and you don’t pull through. No matter how it happens, as a group we’ve got to make a 38-yard field goal.... I don’t think I’ve had a kick blocked or deflected since 2006.

I probably won’t go to bed. I’m a dad and my kids will want to see me, but it will gnaw at you and eat at you, even tomorrow.... Once tomorrow is over, you have to put it beside you. You have to move forward."

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