Former longtime player Jay Feely on why NFL kickers seem to miss a lot of field goals as of late.
If you’re a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, or Philadelphia Eagles, you’re likely cursing your team’s kicker this weekend. But if you’ve suffered at the hands (err… legs) of NFL kickers around the league, just know you’re not alone.
Through halftime of Sunday’s afternoon games, 13 field goals and 4 extra points have been missed during week 4 alone.
It’s an eyebrow raising stat when game winning misses are happening league wide, especially considering PATs had a 99-percent success rate in 2014.
What’s the reason behind the all these missed kicks? Former longtime NFL kicker Jay Feely offered up some insight on Twitter as to what the reason could be:
“Extra points used to be in-game practice. You didn’t have to worry about the result (it was a given), which allowed you to focus on your form and grooved in during a game. Somewhat of a confidence builder. Like throwing a couple screens early for a quarterback. Now, the pressure is bigger for [extra points] than even [field goals] because there is zero room for error (100% success is demanded). The pressure intensifies and it negatively impacts [field goal] performance as well.”
Over the summer the NFL changed the distance from the line of scrimmage for PATs from the two-yard line to the 15, essentially making an extra point a 33-yard field goal.
Since the two-point conversion remains at the two-yard line, it was thought more teams would attempt to go for two. Some teams have taken the two-point conversion challenge but the PAT remains the default decision, perhaps to the regret of coaches, players, and fans looking in hindsight.
But when you couple Feely’s thoughts along with the rate of missed field goals and PATs, perhaps league commissioner Roger Goodell is getting exactly what he wanted by adding extra drama, pressure and thus importance to a position that has been devalued league-wide.
Meanwhile, us fans will continue to dwell on what could have been:
Stage 6. pic.twitter.com/Of0lE9Zz1F
— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) October 4, 2015
Featured image via SB Nation