NFL PKs are getting their kicks too much

It’s time to narrow the goalposts. Or reduce the value of the field goal. Or give defenders paint guns.

Or something.

At the quarter-pole, NFL placekickers have been successful on 89% of their field-goal attempts. Combined, they’re 233-of-261.

Half the kickers in the league (16) are perfect, including Pittsburgh’s Shaun Suisham (left, my photo from camp), the pride of Wallaceburg, Ont.

Only four kickers have missed more than two field goals – Washington’s Billy Cundiff (4), New England’s Stephen Gostkowski (3), Miami’s Dan Carpenter (3) and San Francisco’s David Akers (3).

It’s pretty much only the long attempts that kickers miss anymore. And not many of them.

For example, they’re all a combined 68-of-72 (94%) from 30 to 39 yards out. A generation ago, that was a good extra-point percentage.

Some additional perspective:

  • Fifty years ago, the Hall of Fame Browns kicker Lou (The Toe) Groza made 45% of his field goals, and was 58% in his 18-year career.
  • Twenty-five years ago, the great Gary Anderson made 82% of his kicks for the Steelers.

This year, NFL PKs have a better percentage on field goals of 50+ yards (76%, 25-of-33) than Matt Bahr (1979-95) had from all distances in his career (72%).

There’s almost no drama to the field goal anymore. Everybody is Mr. Automatic. To quote the great Snagglepuss: it’s become ridickle-ickle-icklous.

Time for the rules committee to do something about it. Namely, narrow the goalposts from the current to 18 feet, six inches.

Or lower the value of the field goal, evunnnnn.

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