the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, October 15, 2012

NFL Week Six: Final Kick - Matt Bryant, Rian Lindell & Jason Hanson

Three games ended with a field goal yesterday.

Breaking his streak of 23 consecutive field goals, Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant missed a 43 yard attempt wide left in the first quarter against Oakland.
"Missing that one early kind of woke me up a little bit to focus even harder."
In the third quarter he made kicks from 41 and 20 yards. Then with the game tied, with one second remaining, following an icing timeout, Bryant hit a 55 yarder to give the Falcons a 23-20 win over the Raiders and remain the only unbeaten team. 
"It’s about handling the moment, whatever that is, managing it.... In my opinion there are more good things that can come out of calling a timeout. I mean if you make the kick, you just conjure up that feeling of repeating that. If you miss it, then you know how to make the adjustments."
The Buffalo at Arizona game was also tied late and went into overtime. There, Bills kicker Rian Lindell made a 25 yarder to give the Bills a 19-16 win over the Cardinals.
"I just tried to hit a good ball. I don't care when it is... if it's March or whenever it is. But if you want to call me Mr. Icewater I'll accept that... I hit a good ball and it was a great snap, great hold, so give Garrison [Sanborn] and Shawn [Powell] some credit for that."
Earlier in overtime on the opening possession, the Bills opted to punt rather than have Lindell attempt a 53 yard field goal.
"Well, that doesn't end it [because of overtime rules that guarantee a possession if the team that wins the toss scores a field goal on the first series]. So I figured that played into it, but they don't pay me to think. They pay me to kick the field goals when they say, 'Field goal'.... It just doesn't do me any good to storm around. I want them all. Absolutely, I want them all. I wanted to try that 55-yarder last week [in San Francisco], but I didn't get it. I'm not good enough to think of too many other things than just the next kick."
The Detroit at Philadelphia game also was decided in overtime, and again the visitors pulled out the win. Lions kicker Jason Hanson , who had made three kicks in regulation, hit a 45 yarder for the victory.
"I'm always nervous. That's scary when you're out there and you know what it's for. Obviously as a pro you learn to buckle it down and, while you feel that little bit of anxiety, still perform.... It was a right-to-left wind going that way and I hadn't kicked one in the game that way. I started at right middle and it went down and just turned hard left. So I gulped. Good hit. It went in. And I don't feel bad about how close it was."
Hanson knew it was an important game.
"I don't know what the other guys were thinking, but I'm sure I'm not the only (one) who realized that we had to have this win and to go 1-4 would be a huge mountain to overcome or climb up. Yeah, it was a big win. And the good thing is everybody knows that we've got a lot of work to do because we barely pulled it out. But a win's a win in the NFL, and we needed it."

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