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5 seconds to go, down 2, on your opponent's 23, and your kicker is hurt


What do you do?  

44 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you do?

    • Attempt the kick
      33
    • Try for the TD
      12


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Your options are either to attempt the 40-yard FG with your punter (who's normally the holder on FG attempts, meaning you have to have your backup QB hold), or take a shot at the end zone.

What do you do?

Edited by Apparition
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Largely it depends on if I have been doing my job and at least preparing for a worst case scenario like this and have a feel for my punters ability to kick a FG at that distance, and a feel for whether my backup QB can be trusted for a good hold. Hopefully my backup QB has at least some experience holding for kicks in the past, even if on a previous team. 

If I have been practicing a situation where the punter has to come in and kick FGs, obviously you don't devote a ton of time to it, but it's something you should be doing some throughout camp and practice because nobody carries more than one kicker on the game day roster, so if I am making the call totally blind I, as a coach regardless (for not making it something we put work into or overseeing my special teams coach to be making sure it's happening) have failed and will have nobody to blame but myself. 

So if that is something we have practiced, and I can send my punter out there to kick a FG that isn't crazy far, with confidence that it can succeed and isn't simply a prayer, I send the punter out to be the hero. If I have seen in a situation like that my punter is totally incapable of handling a 40 yard FG, I would preferably have gotten another punter that could step in in an emergency situation, but in that case, I bring my offense out on the field. 

I still feel like in an emergency situation a NFL punter should be able to hit a 40 yard FG if the conditions are good. I feel like the odds of the punter being able to fill in and hit a FG from that distance has to be higher than one final hail Mary type play where the defense knows you have to get to the end zone on this one final play. 

Maybe I'm way off. I haven't seen many games where a team has had a kicker hurt and not able to kick in game. But I know the odds of scoring from 20+ yards out on a final play don't find much success. 

Honestly, I would be more worried if my long snapper was injured and couldn't play for punts/kicks than if my kicker is out and the punter has to kick in an emergency situation. I remember the Raiders game against the Chargers where our long snapper was injured. We should have won the game, we were in control early I believe, but once Condo went out we no longer could punt, we couldn't attempt FGs. It was terrible. I suspect you spend more time working an emergency situation where your punter has to kick FGs than you do finding multiple long snappers and giving them reps to be good at it. 

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Posted (edited)

For the record, the longest successful kick by a non-kicker in modern NFL history was 39 yards by Packers LB John Anderson in 1979.

 

edit: I guess that number didn't include punters kicking? I know Scifres made a 40-yarder back in 2011.

Edited by Apparition
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Attempt the kick. Even with a punter who isn't experienced at kicking FG's, there's more chance of him making that than a 20 plus yard shot at the endzone against a defence that knows you've got to get a TD or it's over. 

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Try a quick hit towards the sidelines to pick up an extra 5 yards.

 

Try to make it as easy as possible for the kicker. Then just keep your fingers crossed.

Edited by candyman93
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Hey, a lot of NFL punters were kickers in high school and college. I know Pat McAfee was. Punters definitely have the strength and to some extent have an ability to kick to certain areas of the field. I’d go with the FG. 

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Do I have anyone on my team who has played soccer?

My concern is about the holder. Sure many guys would have the ability to do that, if they practiced it. But there's a lot going on there. Catching the snap, placing the ball, orientating the ball, and doing all of that quickly. If it were so easy that anyone could do it the backup quarterback would always do it to be out there if/when they pass instead.

I feel like an experienced holder and some guy with some experience kicking a ball could be a better unit than some guy who hasn't held in who knows how long and a capable leg.

A good holder could be like a QB or MLB catcher there. "The ball will be right here. Stand here. Take x steps backwards and list lazily to the left. Start in motion here and power straight through...

Chad Johnson loves soccer so he might be an outlier. But it a preseason game he was competent with a kick off and XP. But I'd expect a pro athlete with experience playing soccer to be able to blast it that short distance.

Kicking without having to worry about height and distance is muscle memory. Holding is a multi step process and a more specialized skill. Everyone has kicked a ball. 

Not that I think poorly of kickers. Just that the drop off in ability has a chance of being greater from the holder to anyone who hasn't recently held, especially if never with that battery, than it would be from a kicker a pro athlete who knows how to kick a soccer ball.

Granted my experience playing football was back in high school where I was a side lineman.

With five seconds I'd take a stab at the end zone or sideline to try and improve the field position for the kick.

Hopefully they rough the kicker who's my 5th wide receiver...

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22 hours ago, Apparition said:

Your options are either to attempt the 40-yard FG with your punter (who's normally the holder on FG attempts, meaning you have to have your backup QB hold), or take a shot at the end zone.

What do you do?

Who's to say the punter is the backup kicker? 

There's some position guys who were halfway decent kickers. 

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