the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, December 16, 2013

NFL Week 15: Kickoffs by Alex Henry & Stephen Gostkowski

Kickoffs were a topic of discussion following two of yesterday's NFL games.

The Eagles focused on keeping the ball out of the hands of the Vikings' dangerous return men. However the short kickoffs ended up giving the Vikings excellent field position on numerous droves. Minnesota won 48-30 over Philadelphia. Eagles kicker Alex Henery noted afterward:

“It’s definitely not the thing I want to do. I want to hit the deep ball, but that’s the scheme we had all week and obviously we were sticking to it. We didn’t want [kickoff returner Cordarrelle Patterson] or [punt returner Marcus Sherels] to take over the game in that aspect. We wanted to keep it in control.”
After having scored a go-ahead touchdown with four minutes remaining, the Patriots sent the ensuing kickoff out-of-bounds, setting up the Dolphins with a short field. Miami went on to score, and win 24-20 over New England. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who also missed a 48 yard field goal in the third quarter, commented afterward:
"[On the kickoff] It's just a case of overkicking and trying to kill the ball. Not a good kick at all: Terrible timing, and it's a play I definitely wish I could take back. It stinks to lose, and it stinks to have an effect on the game like that....

[On the field goal attempt] I felt like I hit it pretty well. The wind was blowing left-to-right all day, and I played it left-middle, felt like I hit it right where I aimed but it just kind leaked left a little bit. It's upsetting. There's very few times where I feel like I hit a good kick and I miss. Usually you just hit a crappy kick. I felt like I put a good swing on it, it was a great operation. Today just wasn't my day."

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