Face Off (Kickers play vital role in game outcomes)

Kickers can never be overrated. Every year, several games in the National Football League come down to a late field goal attempt. Being a kicker on any level requires a lot of mental preparation. One missed kick can and sometimes will ruin a kicker’s psyche. In the blink of an eye, a kicker can go from a hero to a goat and vice versa.

The numerous complaints of bad officiating in the NFL playoffs this year are warranted. One of the games in question, last week’s wild card playoff game between New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers would never have been decided by the officials had the Giants made a late field goal. The Giants themselves would not have advanced to the playoffs if Philadelphia’s pro-bowl kicker David Akers made a 35-yard field goal a week earlier against the Giants.

People still talk about how Miami players were cheated in the game against Ohio State for the national championship. Miami kicker Todd Sievers inched the Hurricanes into overtime with a 40-yard field goal that barely made it through the goal posts as time expired. Miami would have never made it to that game if not for Xavier Beitia missed a 43-yard field goal as time expired that would have given Florida State a 30-28 victory over Miami.

Kickers are not the most important people on a football team, but they are very vital to a football team being successful. To say a kicker can be overrated is ludicrous. Kickers determine too many games and too many championships so it is about time they get their due.