A look at clutch, and icy, kicking

September, 24, 2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Excel-master Mike Sando, also an NFC West expert, Thursday unveiled an incredibly detailed report on field goal kickers in clutch situations.

He compares their overall effectiveness on “clutch kicks,” kicks from 35 yards or longer in overtime or the final 2:00 of regulation and their effectiveness in such situations after they are iced by a last –second timeout by the opponent’s head coach.

Here are the numbers for the AFC South’s four current place-kickers, dating back to 2001 (so Adam Vinatieri’s numbers include five years of what he did for the Patriots and Kris Brown’s include a season of his term with the Steelers.)

Rob Bironas, Tennessee

Overall clutch kicks: 3-5

Iced clutch kicks: 3-4

Brown, Houston

Overall clutch kicks: 7-9

Iced clutch kicks: 1-2

Josh Scobee, Jacksonville

Overall clutch kicks: 5-6

Iced clutch kicks: 3-3

Vinatieri, Indianapolis

Overall clutch kicks: 11-12

Iced clutch kicks: 3-4

One thing Sando didn’t take into account was reverse icing.

Here’s an item I wrote for The Tennessean’s Nov. 21, 2007 edition pertaining to the Titans 34-20 loss at Denver two days before.

Ice in reverse: When late timeouts intended to disrupt field goal attempts became the rage earlier this season, [Jeff] Fisher dismissed the debate.

He didn't believe it was something the league's competition committee, which he co-chairs, would need to review because eventually it would happen in reverse.

So he saw the irony when it happened in reverse for the Titans.

With nine seconds left in the first half, Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan called a late timeout that got Rob Bironas off the hook for a bad kick. After the timeout, Bironas nailed the 56-yarder.

"It'll be interesting to see if Mike does it again," Fisher said. "You're going to have to ask him. As you said, that's what I've been saying all along.

"All it's going to take is one timeout and a miss and then a make, and I think people will second-guess that strategy. I can't speak for Mike. Mike's very aggressive and has been successful to this point."

Anyone remember any other cases of reverse icing?

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter



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