Monday, January 14, 2013

When "Ice The Kicker" Fails Miserably

One recent phenomenon of NFL coaching that annoys me to no end is the ludicrous practice of "icing the kicker". Just as a kicker is about to kick a field goal, the opposing coach calls a timeout such that the kicker still kicks the ball, but he's forced to do it a second time. It is as stupid as it sounds. You are giving the kicker a practice shot from that spot and distance. Maybe it had shock value the first few times coaches did it, but the experiment is over.

The strategy can fail miserably on a grand scale, such as this weekend in the playoffs. The Atlanta Falcons were losing but had a chance at a field goal to win the game in the final seconds. Seattle coach Pete Carrol called a timeout as the kicker is about to kick, the kicker kicks, the kick misses; and the kicker gets a second chance. The second kick is good. If the coach lets him kick the first time, Seattle would be playing in the NFC championship game next week. Instead, season over. Icing the kicker cost them their season. Stop doing coaches. It just annoys people watching, it gives the kicker a practice kick, and might cost you the game.

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