Nas stated it best, “Now let’s get it all in perspective.” Kicking in the NFL seems to be at an all time low. The place kicker was a position of promise for tired linemen and frustrated coaches caught in between a rock and a hard place in the final seconds of a game. If a game was in the line, a coach would gladly accept a win through the power of the leg, but the tide has turned in the NFL. Field goals are no longer a sure bet and field position is constantly jeopardized by botched punts.
Kicking is not only a problem in pro football, it also extends to college ball. This season, collegiate kickers seem to have gone out of their way to add gray hairs to their already aging coaches. Florida State’s kicker Xavier Beitia missed a game winning field goal against Miami, sending the Seminoles’ season in the same direction as the ball: Wide left!
Now, please don’t misunderstand the complaint. Field goals are necessary to the game but the emphasis placed on the kicker is out of hand. The game has gotten soft. The league should change the rules and make every team line up for the two-point conversion and go at it. At least that way, the fans will get a chance to see real athletes determine the outcome of a game instead of having the same circus that ensued in the overtime period the Pittsburgh Steelers faced Saturday when their kicker missed two game winning field goals, only to be redeemed with a bad call by referees.
Football is a game of inches and field position. I’m not asking for a coach to be stupid and go for it on fourth and 21, but answer this question: Would you trust your undefeated season to the foot of a sub-par pretty boy or in the hands of your franchise player? I would put the ball in Mike Vick’s hands every time because as a coach I would not trust my kicker.
Bottom line, kickers need to get their game up or the league needs to find a way to get them out.