You can see why players despise kickers. They work so hard, pay the price physically during games, work out and practise hard, study the playbook all week and, after doing all this, the game comes down to the kicker.
The kicker hasn’t spent an ounce of physical energy during the game, practises one or two things all week, doesn’t get hit, trots out on the field with a clean uniform that doesn’t need cleaned all season, and then shanks a kick to the dismay of the other 44 guys who worked their guts out.
How can you show your face in the dressing room?
We know they are part of the team, but when easy kicks cost your team wins, they will soon be dressing in the hallway.
Believe it or not, there is now a support group for kickers!
Stat of the week
With the Bengals and Redskins’ tie game in London, it’s the first time since 1997 the NFL had ties in back-to-back weeks. Thank the bad play of the kickers for these “draws” as they would say in London.
Bonehead play of the week
The Oakland Raiders broke an NFL record for orange flags falling from the sky – they were flagged 23 times against the Bucs. Better yet, Redskins corner Josh Norman was flagged five times for the same penalty – hands to the face of Bengals receiver AJ Green. How smart is that?
The Chiefs are always tough at home while the Jags (2-6) are struggling, especially quarterback Blake Bortles. It looked like Jacksonville quit on the coach last Thursday, and that’s never a good sign for winning games in the NFL. Kansas City wins easily.
The poor old Browns! At least Cleveland residents have something to cheer about with the Indians and Cavaliers. The only cheering going on in this game are Cowboys’ fans in Cleveland. Dallas wins on the road.
Just when you thought Aaron Rodgers was on the downside of his career, there was a real Aaron Rodgers sighting in Atlanta last week. The Pack lost the game, but he looked like the Rodgers of old. Green Bay heads home against the struggling Colts, who have big issues on both sides of the ball. Take the Cheeseheads.
Don’t mortgage the house picks
The Freak believes the Panthers will make a playoff run as they’re only two games out in the NFC South. Carolina heads to Los Angeles for the first time, and it will be a physical battle. But Cam will make one more play with his legs, which is the difference in Carolina’s win.
We will find out if Oakland is for real against arch-rival Denver on Sunday night. These are games that will tell if David Carr, Amari Cooper and Khali Mack are ready to take that next step. Denver wins with its defence, and the Raiders win with their offence. Mack has a big game, and he’s the difference in a very close divisional matchup. Halloween is over, but the Black Hole is rocking.
New Orleans beat Seattle to prove it can play with the NFC’s elite teams. Now they make the long trip west to play the 49ers. We know Brees throws less touchdowns on the road, but the Saints will score enough to beat a bad San Fran team.
Pittsburgh and Baltimore are coming off a bye week, and both will really benefit with the extra rest.
Steelers quarterback Chandler Jones looked more comfortable replacing Ben Roethlisberger than he did last season, and this bye week will further prepare him for an upset win over the Ravens.
Last week: 5-for-7.
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher and coaches youth football. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.