Of course I just jinxed myself. But last week’s results were certainly encouraging nonetheless. Every week is different, as we know, so 3-10 is just as likely as 10-3 in Week Ten. Actually 3-10 is probably more than likely, but we shall see:
Seattle (-5.5) at Arizona
The Seahawks were on a roll then blew a game against Washington at home last week, thanks in part to their kicker missing 3 field goals in the first half.
Side note: How come probably half of the NFL kickers aren’t very reliable? “Reliable” is probably being kind as well. There are 32 teams in the league. That means there are only 32 kicking jobs available. Out of all the people in this world, how can there not be 32 people who rise to the top of the kicking profession and be essentially just about perfect? Especially when a great deal of the games are in domes or in otherwise ideal conditions?
This has always baffled me. I get it, kicking isn’t always just the field goal kicker. It could be a bad snap by the center. It could be a bad hold by the holder. The line could let someone sneak in and affect the kick. But still. It seems as if once they moved the extra point back, kickers all of a sudden got even worse. It’s not like 33 yards is a tough make. But guys are missing them way more than they should.
One of the best kickers in the league is 44-year-old Adam Vinatieri. How is this possible? It looks like 8 of the 32 teams have used 2 kickers this year. Yes, a couple due to injury, but most due to ineffectiveness. Others seem to be holding onto their jobs tenuously…or won’t get cut for financial reasons, regardless of how shaky they may become (Stephen Gostkowski? Brandon McManus?). Actually, Gostkowski hasn’t been as bad as people think he has been this year. Then again, his kicks certainly don’t go straight down the middle anymore either.
And don’t get me going on college kickers. I don’t watch a ton of college football. But I know that most of those guys are putrid. I know it’s usually some dude walking on the team that eventually ends up being the kicker. But maybe someone on the soccer team would be a better choice? I also know that colleges aren’t exactly grooming kickers for the NFL. But it’s painful to watch. All around.
In any event, I just wrote waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much about kickers. Please accept my apologies. This has been building up inside for years now and it took Blair Walsh shanking three last week to put it all down on “paper”. And I can’t even stomach Walsh in the first place, since he was the guy from Minnesota that blew a 27-yarder in the first round of the playoffs at the end of the 2015 season that should have beaten heavy favorite Seattle and allowed the Vikings to move on. THEN in the preseason this year, Walsh hit a field goal for Seattle against the Vikings and then motioned to the Viking sideline like he was taunting them. PRESEASON! WHAT?!
Ugh…anyway, Seattle will bounce back, Arizona still is starting Drew Stanton. Seattle will focus on stopping Adrian Peterson (they will) and let Stanton try to beat them (he won’t).
Seattle 31, Arizona 13.
Week (against the spread): 10-3
Week (straight up): 10-3
Season (against the spread): 65-67
Season (straight up): 84-48