the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, October 1, 2012

NFL Week Four: Undefeated - Matt Bryant & Jay Feely


Two veteran kickers. 

Two game winning field goals. 

Two undefeated teams.

Several weeks ago, the following story regarding Falcons kicker Matt Bryant surfaced:
Bryant, entering his fourth season as the Falcons’ place-kicker, has learned to mimic the distress call of an alligator. It works to draw the reptiles out from bodies of water, and he’s gone as far as to lead them around golf courses as they investigate the sound. He’ll stop near the green to allow a group to putt out, of course. He’s used the ability to amaze family, coaches, players and strangers. So, if Bryant ever asks: ‘Want to see a trick?’ one best beware. “I’ve had fun with it,” said Bryant, who gets a lot of practice at his home in Florida, where he says you can find a reptile in any standing water.
What does that have to do with yesterday's game in which Bryant hit a 40 yard field goal with five seconds on the clock to give Atlanta a 30-28 win over Carolina? Probably nothing. Perhaps everything. The Falcons are now 4-0, one of only three teams remaining undefeated.

Approaching the 2008 season, kicker Jay Feely was a surprise cut by the Miami. From there he landed in New York with the Jets, and subsequently to his current job with Arizona. Yesterday he faced his former team and kicked a 46 yard field goal in overtime to give the Cardinals a 24-21 win over the Dolphins.
"I just try to stay calm and stay in the moment and not think about the implications. Obviously for me, that was a big kick....
You remember sitting in [Miami general manager] Jeff Ireland’s office and [him] releasing you. I hold that in the back of my mind. I always want to have a great game against them. Some people say it doesn’t matter but to me it does."
Along with the Texans, the Cardinal are the other undefeated team. Feely noted:
"I think we’re not where want to be yet, but we’re 4-0."

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