Monday, November 8, 2010
Quirky kicking impacts all AFC East games
What a crazy Sunday for kicking in the AFC East.
A 300-pounder tried an extra point in one game. A receiver tried an extra point in another game.
Players who have been automatic couldn't convert.
Buffalo Bills kicker Rian Lindell went into Sunday with 321 consecutive extra points, the NFL record to start a career. The Chicago Bears blocked one. The evaporated point made two-point conversions appropriate. The Bears converted one, but the Bills didn't in a 22-19 loss.
The NFL named Miami Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter special teams player of the month a few days ago. Carpenter missed a 46-yard field goal attempt that would have pulled the Dolphins within a touchdown of the Baltimore Ravens early in the fourth quarter. Carpenter had made 13 in a row.
Nick Folk made a 36-yarder as the fourth quarter expired and a 30-yarder in sudden death to beat the Detroit Lions 23-20. Regular kicker Jason Hanson was hurt, and Lions rookie defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was the emergency replacement. Suh hit the right upright on an extra point in the third quarter.
New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker made his extra point in a 34-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski had a thigh injury. Welker, who has played a lot of soccer, said he never has practiced that kind of situation and hasn't kicked a football in years.
"You don't really expect that to happen," Welker said, and then added sarcastically, "As you can see, it's an easy job."
The Elias Sports Bureau noted the last day two non-kickers (players whose listed position were not kicker or punter) attempted extra points was Sept. 9, 1979. San Diego Chargers quarterback Cliff Olander and New Orleans Saints running back Tony Galbreath took their cuts.
ESPNBoston.com reporter Mike Reiss mentioned the Patriots might look to Shane Graham or Shaun Suisham as a free-agent possibility if Gostkowski's injury is serious enough to warrant another leg.