The NFL world spends a lot of time theorizing about the kicking portion of football games, but in recent years the league has actually gone about implementing some of those changes.
The PAT is now a 34-yard attempt, and has produced very mixed results, while touchbacks on kickoffs now move a team to the 25-yard line. These are not revolutionary changes, but they do affect the way the game is played.
Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens, meanwhile, has a new theory that would be legitimately revolutionary.
It’s not going to happen, but it’s a fun idea to toss around. Think about it: a 75-yard field goal (from the 35-yard line) has never happened in game play, but without the threat of a block or a bad snap — plus the tee off which it’s kicked — the probability increases.
Tucker speculated that he’d hit this about 20 per cent of the time.
“Maybe one out of every five if the weather’s alright and the field is good,” Tucker added. “A kicker with a strong leg would be in favour of it.”
Speaking of kickers with strong legs, Tucker himself is nothing short of the best kicker in football this year. He’s perfect in extra points and field goal attempts this season, including seven from 50 yards and longer.
Tucker’s idea calls to mind the one-point “rouge” in the Canadian Football League, which occurs on a kick that is returned but unsuccessfully brought out of the end zone.
There would be tons of strategy involved in Tucker’s idea, too: would Bill Belichick prefer his “mortar” kicks, which hang forever in the air and drop down on the one, or would he go for the one-pointer? Would teams go for two more often? How would this affect late-game strategies?
In the end, it will never happen. But it’s as fun a kickoff idea as we’ve heard, and it’d definitely be good for player safety. And after all, that’s the NFL’s top priority, right?
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