Before we get into Manic Monday, I have a gripe. I think it might actually be a universal complaint TBH.
We need to put a spotlight on psychotic behavior that is ruining the football experience for many, many thousands -- maybe millions -- of NFL fans.
Let me explain.
One of the beautiful things about the internet is that it’s opened the ENTIRE league to football fans. We have been gifted the ability to watch multiple games at once, instead of just settling for our “local” game of the week, and maybe (if we’re lucky) getting a game on an opposite channel.
Enter the internet. Streaming services have been a godsend, especially for those who can’t put a DirectTV satellite on their apartment or home.
Who’d have thought such a beautiful thing would create a monster?
If you stream a lot of football, you know where this is headed.
It’s sometimes called the 30-second delay (or 2-minute delay), and it’s causing a MASSIVE rift between people every Sunday. Because everyone who streams has that sonofabitch in their texts and DMs who just HAS to spoil every big play with an “OMG,” “WOWWWW,” or “CEEEDEEEEE!!!!!!”
Listen: I just want to watch the damn game in peace and not have every single play ruined by foreshadowing via text.
Well, on a HISTORICALLY bad day for kickers, where incredible things happened all day, this happened to me. From 1 p.m. until halftime of Sunday Night Football, I tried to ignore it, tried to hide from it and tried to not get angry. But it became too much.
I won’t get into how it all went down in the end (spoiler: ANGER), but just fair warning to everyone out there. If you have cable, or are 30 seconds ahead of anyone you care about even the slightest????
SHUT. THE F**K. UP.
I feel better now.
Onto the lede, and boy, was it a big one.
As I said, kickers had a historically bad day yesterday.
How bad? Before Sunday, Mason Crosby missed two field goals in two years. He missed three in the span of around 4 minutes and 30 seconds at the end of regulation and in OT. All of them would have been game winners. Oh, he also missed an extra point, which would have made overtime unnecessary.
He was so off the mark that if this was an archery contest, a spectator would be dead. And STILL people were defending him.
He was so bad his head coach was like, NOPE. Gonna go for it on 4th down rather than let Mason blow it a 4th time.
That might be the next rant: no place on earth, not even BW3, attracts dumber football fans than Twitter. But I digress.
There were 11 missed FGs this week (not counting Monday night), which is very bad. It was also very funny. Bengals rookie kicker Evan McPherson might have the strongest leg in the league; he missed a 57 yarder to win the game that DOINKED the goal post when it looked like it would be good from 70. It was probably the loudest DOINK since Cody Parkey, who (shockingly) was signed this week and promptly missed his first field goal. But then, Cody DID get two DOINKS for the price of one back in the day. Apologies to all you Bears fans for bringing that up.
McPherson did the impossible in OT. He missed a 49 yarder when he actually HIT THE FLAG on top the left goal post. He literally kicked it OVER the goal posts from 50 yards out. The best part (unless you’re a Bengals fan)?
We’re STILL missing the big story here, though. What’s even stranger is that there were also 12 missed extra points.
I repeat. TWELVE. MISSED. EXTRA. POINTS.
That’s absurd. Before 2015, teams literally NEVER missed XPs. And I mean literally. Stephen Gostkowski once made 523 consecutive XPs. I don’t know if I’ve ever made 523 consecutive ANYTHING in my life. I don’t think I’ve put on jeans 523 consecutive times without falling down.
Actually, I know I haven’t. I face-planted two days ago trying to put my right pant leg on.
Kickers as a whole made XPs at a rate of around 99% (with a high of 99.6% in 2013). But then the NFL rule change was implemented for 2015 and it immediately fell to around 94% with an all-time low last year of 93%.
Fast forward to Sunday. There were 58 touchdowns in games on Sunday (not counting Sunday Night Football) that had an extra point attempt and there were 11 misses. That is an 81% success rate, which is… incredibly bad. The Chargers' Michael Badgley missed so badly on an XP that Kevin Harlan said in amazement, “He missed it so far left he didn’t hit the net.”
It was that kind of day.
You want to know how weird today was from a kicking standpoint? The Minnesota Vikings, the most snake-bitten team when it comes to kicking in the history of football, won a game on a 54-yard field goal by Greg Joseph as time expired.
Gary Anderson. Blair Walsh. Dan Bailey. And yet on this day? They make a hugely difficult kick when no one else was even making extra points.
And of course it had to be against the Lions, who have now lost TWO games this year on last-second kicks over 54 yards (remember Justin Tucker’s record 66 yarder two weeks ago). The Lions are 0-5 and whenever I see them? I just feel sad (and so does Dan Campbell).