Kicking Off

Things were really interesting yesterday during the 1 PM NFL games in the kicking and reffing departments. Matt Prater tried to break his own record of kicking a 64 yard field goal with the Denver Broncos by attempting a 68 yard field goal with the Arizona Cardinals. It fell short and was run back 109 yards for a touchdown by Jamal Agnew. That tied the record for the longest kick run back for a touchdown. That record will never be broken until the NFL start measuring it in feet and inches because 110 yards would be out of bounds.

Adding insult to injury is that under an hour later, the field goal record was broken by Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens. He kicked a 66 yard field goal that hit the crossbar and bounced through to win the game.

However the setup for this field goal is rather controversial. On the previous play, the play clock had expired a second or so before the ball was hiked but they were not called for delay of game. Had they been flagged for it, they would have lost 5 yards, making it a 71 yard field goal. Given that the 66 yard field goal had just barely enough height on it that it had to bounce off the crossbar to be good and Prater's 68 yarder didn't make it, a 71 yard field goal wasn't going to be possible. The Ravens would have had to resort to a Hail Mary pass if they were going to squeeze out a touchdown with 3 seconds left.

Being screwed over by bad calls is something the Lions are familiar with. Between the Process Rule for catches, pass interference and roughing the passer rules that seem to disappear the second it's happening to their players, flags that get picked up way too often, and God knows what else, they've ended up as the team that has lost the most net yards on penalties (yards gained by penalties against them - yards lost by penalties committed = net yards). Someone's compiling a list of all the times they've gotten apology letters from the NFL, but apologies don't equal points, yards, or games, so they might as well be used to light the stove.

Some people are angry at Justin Tucker and saying that this kick shouldn't count, or at the very least should have an * next to it. I don't think that's right. Get angry at the NFL and the refs for not catching the delay of game, but Justin Tucker doesn't deserve this hate. The botched call was the play before he made the kick. It's still his kick on a valid play that broke the record, so he deserves to have it. If it turns out he was like Barry Bonds and used performance enhancing drugs in order to make that kick, then I'll agree with them. In the meantime, it should stand as-is.

Day 55 of #100DaysToOffload

Tags: NFL Football