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Now more than ever, kickers are a factor

The improved range of kickers has coaches rethinking how they approach late-game situations, writes John Clayton.

Originally Published: December 9, 2006
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Rob Bironas' 60-yard field goal that beat the Colts in Week 13 drove home a remarkable change in strategy thanks to the powerful legs of kickers.

Teams that possess kickers capable of connecting from 60-plus yards just have to cross midfield in the final two minutes to have a chance for a victory. In the past, coaches figured getting to the opponent's 35 was the make-or-break mark for a field goal. Now the 45-yard line is in play, meaning a team pinned around its 20-yard ...

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