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The Philadelphia Eagles acquire LB Demeco Ryans from the Texans - March 22, 2012 by indyfootballreport

The Eagles have acquired 27-year old inside linebacker Demeco Ryans and a 3rd round pick from the Houston Texans for a 3rd and 4th round pick.  The Eagles will be dropping back 12 slots in the 3rd round in their exchange of picks in that round with the Texans.  Ryans played in 16 games for the Texans last year and he had 64 tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 4 passes defensed and 1 forced fumble.  Ryans played in 86 games in his six years with the Texans and he had 637 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 32 tackles for a loss, 6 forced fumbles, 8 fumble recoveries, 25 passes defensed and 2 interceptions.  This is a great move for the Eagles as they had big time issues stopping the run and Ryans is a tackling machine.

Philadelphia Eagles NFL News – Eagles Football Blog

“Historically good.” “League leader.” Yet somehow Bowe suffers from an incredible lack of respect… - February 11, 2012 by indyfootballreport

“Historically good.” “League leader.” Yet somehow Bowe suffers from an incredible lack of respect outside of Kansas City.

Arrowhead Pride

Patriots vs. Giants: Fan Notes from the Super Bowl - February 6, 2012 by indyfootballreport

New England Patriots running back Danny Woodhead (39) is tackled by New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

I don’t really know what I’m supposed to say here.

The Giants‘ pass rush was nonexistant. There were points to be had on almost every drive. New York put the ball on the ground three times. The defense played as well as you could have possibly asked for. The running game was good enough to keep the defense honest. There were players open. The Patriots had chance after chance to put the game away. But they couldn’t get it done. And once again, the Giants came through in the clutch and scored the game winner late after a ridiculous circus catch. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

I don’t have it in me to say much more than that. Fan Notes after the jump.

  • Tell me that Tommy B didn’t look pissed off when they came out. It was probably because of the hat hair in the starting lineup announcements.
  • The only ten minutes that lasted longer than the period in between the National Anthem and opening kickoff was the last time I hopped on a treadmill in 2005. 10 minutes and half a mile later, that was the end of my stint with exercise.
  • I don’t know about any of you – but I took a great deal of comfort in that grey hoodie.
  • How much money was won and lost worldwide on the opening coin toss? 10 million? 20?
  • Where do you think Tiquan Underwood watched this game? Poor guy.
  • Antuan Molden on Hakeem Nicks and Sterling Moore on Victor Cruz…eek.
  • That said, though, Cruz was a relative nonfactor all game, other than his TD catch.
  • 3rd and 13 on the Pats 42 in 1st quarter. Mark Anderson comes up with a huge sack for a loss to force a punt. That set the tone and the Giants were relatively ineffective on 3rd down overall.
  • Steve Weatherford is the best punter in the NFL, hands down. I know that is the equivalent of being the smartest kid on the short bus, but still…
  • 1st New England play from scrimmage results in a safety. I had absolutely no idea what was going on with that play and I still don’t.
  • Is it me, or did every member of the Giants offense have like 8 inches on the entire Patriots secondary?
  • Jerod Mayo was in PERFECT position to intercept the quick slant to Cruz that put the Giants ahead 9-0. He just forgot to turn around, look for the ball, and be aware of what was going on. He just kind of jumped and threw his hands up. Not a great look, Jerod.
  • Very sad to see Kevin Faulk inactive yesterday. Knowing that he had to watch what is likely his last game as a Patriot from the sidelines isn’t a fitting end for his career.
  • I wonder how the unstoppable force that is Jason Pierre-Paul feels this morning after spending an entire game getting absolutely owned by one man that most people probably haven’t even heard of. Helluva game, Brian Waters.
  • Seriously, we heard Waters’ name once, when he was called for a holding penalty. Other than that, whoever he was up against was like me at speed dating five years ago: nothing.
  • She’s not naked, You aren’t going to fool me. Not again.
  • Not gonna lie; I was kind of hoping this game would be 35-0 after the first quarter. Not exactly the start I was looking for.
  • They are making movies out of board games now? BATTLESHIP? Really?
  • I was a fan of the “Missing Cat” Doritos commercial, though. Anything that promotes the disappearance of cats is something I can fully get behind.
  • Do you think people will ever stop drinking Coke? Do they really need to advertise so heavily?
  • Also – Coke is NOT what people reach for after their favorite team loses. Trust me.
  • I’ll tell you when I just kind of knew the Patriots were in trouble – when Tommy B’s second straight pass was batted down in the middle of the 2nd quarter. The camera cut to a closeup of his eyes, and he just had a look like, “Huh. Not really sure what’s going on here.”
  • The Giants ran a lot of the quick out plays I originally expected from the Patriots, with a tremendous amount of success. Those short plays set up those deeper in-routes beautifully. It was exactly the opposite of what I was expecting – which is probably one of the reasons it worked so well.
  • DANNY WOODHEAD!! Who said he’d be a Patriots Unsung Hero this past week? I don’t remember, but whoever he is, he’s a genius.
  • Tommy B – longest drive in SB history. 16 completions in a row. Yawn. More records for Brady.
  • Whatever happened to the Bud Bowl? Now THAT was a halftime show – not some afroed guy in a toga repeatedly ruining any chance he may have of reproducing by playing crotch trampoline on a tightrope.
  • I honestly don’t think that Madonna sang one lick until “Like A Prayer” came on. It must be nice to get paid insane amounts of money to basically just stand there.
  • I never noticed how much Cee-Lo Green looks like Vince Wilfork.
  • Madonna said she was going to “bring the gay” to her halftime performance. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I’d put the gay factor of that show at about a 4.
  • Aaron Hernandez’s touchdown dance really is awesome. He doesn’t just make it rain; he goes to the safe, opens it, takes out the money, and THEN makes it rain. Sometimes it’s a turn-knob combination. Sometimes it’s digital. And sometimes it’s a thumb print. The only thing that never changes is that there is always money in there. Lots of it.
  • PAT CHUNG! How you like dem apples, Nicks??? WOOOO! I think Nicks was spitting blood after that hit.
  • That Chung hit is the kind of thing you just put on replay over and over again when you’re especially mad at the city of New York – which, for me, is all the time. Especially now.
  • Gronk would have come up with the ball on that Tommy B pick if he was healthy. I don’t want to make excuses, so I won’t speak to his injury any more.
  • Who was that guy they cut to in the middle of the third quarter right after Tynes’s field goal? Did you see that guy’s forehead? Good lord! He has to be a Manning.
  • Latest sign that I’m a horrible human being: I was cheering like a blonde at a Texas high school football game when Jake Ballard went down.
  • It became obvious very early in this one that the game was going to come down to whoever has the ball last. And for the most part, that was true.
  • At least 8 games this season took years off my life. Yesterday must have taken another ten off. For all intents and purposes, I should be dead before July.
  • I’d love to see a study on the counteractive effects adrenalin has on alcohol. I must have had 15 beers throughout the course of the game and I was sober as a nun the entire time. What a waste.
  • How does Tommy B’s block taste, Osi? That can’t feel good.
  • Of all the times for Wes Welker to drop the ball…
  • The Pats were just up-and-down offensively all game. They mixed long, sustained drives with 3-and-outs and other longer drives that ended in no points at all. The Giants deserve all the credit in the world for not allowing any offensive rhythm.
  • Also, penalties absolutely killed us. They almost always allowed a drive to continue, negated turnovers, or resulted in points.
  • All I could think on that amazing Manningham catch was, “Please, no. This can’t be happening again. I can’t live through this again. Please, God, No.”
  • And yet, it happened again. I now have to make room in my own personal hell for that Welker drop next to that Asante Samuel drop in 2008. That drop didn’t cost us the game – but if Welker makes that catch, I’m feeling a lot less awful today, I do know that much.
  • How many ridiculous catches is this team going to pull down against us? Must this happen every single time? The only solace I can take from that Mario Manningham catch is that it was just a spectacular grab, and one he could definitely make again if he had the chance. It wasn’t some million-to-one freakshow like it was four years ago.

I watched this game at my friend’s house uptown. I ended up walking home, all the way back to Brooklyn from 87th Street. That’s about 9 miles, and it took me over three and a half hours. As I walked, the city of New York its usual mix of drunken revelers celebrating in the background and people who hadn’t even watched the game passing me on the sidewalk, I went through the whole gamut of emotions. Sadness, depression, rage, and eventually, just numbness. I even longed, for a brief moment, for those days of the mid-90s when this team was absolutely terrible and I was absolutely ecstatic with a regular season win over the Bills. This isn’t healthy. The amount of sleep I’m going to lose over this one is completely disproportionate to what kind of impact this game had on the world in general. Millions upon millions of people didn’t care about this game in the slightest and went to bed afterwards without any problems whatsoever. The world will continue to turn, and in the grand scheme of things this Super Bowl will be long, long forgotten.

There are also Patriots fans out there who are happy when the Pats win, but when they lose it isn’t the end of the world to them. They are upset for a while, but after a few days of sulking they are back to normal again and are looking forward to all of the other amazing things that life has to offer. Watching football is still fun for them. It still has its rightful place on priorities lists and allows them to spend Sundays outside or with family instead of alone in a dark room screaming at the television, pouring my soul into a team that doesn’t even know I exist. You have no idea how much I envy those people – I would love to make the life change necessary to allow Patriots football to be fun for me again, but I simply don’t know how.

I’m going to try and have have more on the game later in the week. But I just don’t have the energy or the willpower to deal with this right now. I feel nauseous and it’s all I can do not to start crying at my desk.

Congratulations to the Giants. Once again, the better team prevailed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a noose.

Pats Pulpit

From Our Tight Ends To Yours - December 26, 2011 by indyfootballreport

The Green Bay Packers tight ends got together to shoot a Christmas card photo. It’s magnificent and we’ve got it right here for you. Well played, Crabtree!

Total Packers

New England Patriots Links 12/22/11 – Defense Must Keep Bush From Burning Them - December 22, 2011 by indyfootballreport

Rob Ninkovich knows the Patriots run defense has to tighten up and improve.

Julian Benbow reports the Patriots defense knows it has to shore up before facing another explosive runner in Reggie Bush Sunday.

“He’s a special guy,’’ said Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich. “A guy like Reggie can do a lot of different things. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, he can run the ball, he can play on punt return, he can return the ball, so there’s many things he can do on the field that can hurt you, so you’ve just got to make sure you don’t let him do those things.’’

“I think our run defense, really the last two weeks, is really been something we’ve struggled with,’’ Ninkovich said. “We need to get back to the things that we were doing well early and midseason, doing a good job against the run.’’

Rob Gronkowski talks about how different the Dolphins are compared to Week 1.

The big difference is that first I think that they went 0-8 and now they’re on fire. They are just winning a lot of games now, they’re in every game, their offense is looking good, their defense is looking smooth. Definitely a team that’s just looking to knock someone off, looking to give [us] a loss, so we’ve got to go out and we have to be prepared because we know they’re coming hard.

They’re doing what they do. They’re playing their defense, we’re studying up obviously on it and everything, trying to learn what they’ve changed and everything, but they got the same players and they’re all good players and they all play hard. We know that they’re going to be especially playing hard this week again and trying to get the ‘W,’ so we’ve got to be out there. We’ve got to be ready because we know their defense is going to be coming.





Pats Pulpit

Fan Notes From the Game - November 7, 2011 by indyfootballreport

Just shut your eyes and throw, Eli. It always seems to work out for you.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Okay, pop quiz. One question, multiple choice. But first, let me set the stage for you.

New England Patriots vs. the New York Giants. Pats home team in blue, Giants the visitors in white. What was expected to be a high-scoring game turned into an, ugly, hard-fought matchup where points were at a premium and both defenses were coming up big when it mattered. The 4th quarter sees things open up a bit, and both offenses start to find some rhythm. Giants take a late lead, but Tommy B brings the Pats down inside the 10. A last minute TD catch puts New England up and in control of the game with less than 2 minutes to play. Eli Manning gets the ball and seems to be having trouble getting anything going. We see a dropped interception by a Patriots defensive back.  A back shoulder, freak catch on 3rd and long sets up great field position for the game winning touchdown. Giants run an end zone corner route off a New England blitz to win the game. Alec smashes the remote control and spends the rest of the night crying into his whiskey and watching reruns of To Catch a Predator.

Now, here’s the question. Am I describing a) Superbowl 42, b) yesterday’s loss to the Giants, or c) all of the above?

Superbowl 42 was one of the worst days of my life. It wasn’t just that the Patriots lost; it was how they lost. It was realizing what almost was and what that ’07 team could have been if not for some absolute absurdity. It was being so confident after watching Tommy B once again engineer a late 4th quarter drive to put the Patriots in position to win it. Then you get a ball bouncing off a defender’s hands, followed by a circus catch on 3rd and long when you think New England is about to make the stop, and  that sinking feeling starts to come over you where you just know that it isn’t going to go the Patriots’ way. And when the inevitable happens, you try in vain to prepare yourself for a night spent staring up at the ceiling, reliving everything that went wrong in your head over and over like it’s going to make a lick of difference.  It’s an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

It’s been 4 years since that fateful night. And only just recently was I starting to get over it. I’m at a point in my life now where the occasional day goes by and I don’t think about that game in some capacity. My hopes for having a semi-normal life were starting to grow. I was almost there. Until, that is, I had the distinct privilege of reliving that El Manning final Superbowl drive all over again yesterday, almost down to the minute.  In 96 seconds, 4 years of slow, painstaking healing just got torn wide open and now I’m left as vulnerable and and nervous as a lone hot dog vendor outside the holding area for people who didn’t pass the audition for The Biggest Loser.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, this loss is far from the end of the world, and there are actually some good things that we can take from yesterday’s game that give us cause of optimism going forward, particularly on defense. But I’m having a hard time thinking about any of that right now. All I can picture is Eli Manning’s face – that misshapen, ugly, Cro-Magnon, backwater mug – celebrating yet another victory over the Patriots that resulted from an absolutely absurd final drive.

And to make matters worse, I’m stuck here in New York City for the inevitable aftermath. Game notes after the jump.

  • Thank you, Fox, for flashing Tommy B’s 31 straight home wins stat right when the game started. Is there a particular reason that they show stats like that every freaking week? Is the NFL on some mission to make sure that this is the year that every impressive record and streak New England has gets broken?
  • Make some noise, Gillette. Come on! One of the quietest 1st quarters ever from the home crowd.
  • Not a huge fan of watching a Patriots game in Week 9 and not recognizing several players on the defense.
  • Hey, look at that! A 3 and out! It was glorious!
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis must be more injured than we know. He always runs well, but then disappears for long stretches in a way that always leaves me scratching my head. The only plausible explanation is his injury.
  • Brandon Spikes! Light ‘em up!
  • Very pleased with what Brandon Deaderick brought to the table yesterday. Hope he can build on that performance.
  • 12 Sacks in 4 games for Tommy B. Hmmm. Not cool, O Line.
  • If only we had the technology to successfully install a “Welker Cam” inside Wes’s helmet so we can get a glimpse of what he sees. On-field vision is a stat you can’t measure and he’s got it in droves.
  • I absolutely love it when Tommy B takes off running. Looks like an 8-bit bunch of pixels from John Elway’s Quarterback for the original Nintendo.
  • Absolutely boneheaded play by Brandon Spikes jumping offside after he thought there was a false start. Even if there was a flinch, you don’t just charge in there like that.
  • Haynesworth drew some nice holding penalties yesterday. That’s what I wanted to see all year.
  • Steve Weatherford is an absolutely phenomenal punter. Patriots had to deal with a long field after almost every single one of his punts.
  • There seems to be a strong correlation between Hall of Fame quarterbacking ability and absolutely inane, bumbling buffoonery in the announcer’s booth. Here’s hoping Brady doesn’t join the ranks of Phil Simms and Troy Aikman as incompetent playcallers after he retires.
  • Wes Welker had absolutely no business catching that 21 yarder before the 2 minute warning.
  • He also had no business getting right back up and back into the huddle after that monster hit.Tough as nails.
  • What’s wrong with Ray Finkle Stephen Gostkowski? That’s a layup kick to close out the half which ultimately would have decided the game. The laces were out, too – I checked. He just hasn’t been the same this season.
  • I’m starting to think that the NFL has figured the New England Patriots out. Their scalding hot start combined with what has been happening as of late leads me to believe that other teams are starting to realize how to stop this offense. They have been scoring less points each and every week and Brady doesn’t look nearly as comfortable as he did to start the year. A lot of game tape of New England being made to look mortal is starting to pile up.
  • You know whose name you never hear? Brian Waters. That’s the best sign of a quality lineman
  • Brady forcing the seam route to Gronkowski is a trend I’m really not a fan of.
  • Seriously – that’s his 3rd interception this year that came off Tommy B forcing one in there where he shouldn’t have. Tom Brady has never been known as a quarterback who forces things. He’s been forcing more than his share of throws as of late and I for one don’t like it.
  • More than a few times during this game, Eli Manning was about .5 seconds away from getting sacked and so he just closed his eyes and hucked it off his back foot. Almost all those passes fell incomplete, LIKE THEY ARE GODDAM SUPPOSED TO, DAVID TYREE.
  • Never a good sign when the biggest play of New England’s day through 3 quarters is a muffed punt.
  • I know very little about football from an Xs and Os standpoint. I was also drinking fairly heavily yesterday. I correctly predicted 8 offensive plays that that the Pats ran. That shouldn’t happen.
  • Chad Ochocinco actually ran some fairly nice routes yesterday, and he also got a fair number of looks. I don’t want to call it a sign that he’s finally got the playbook down, but hey – it’s something.
  • That Julian Edelman muffed punt is very indicative of the kind of player he is. Big play ability and elusiveness means he wants to take every punt return to the house and isn’t smart with the ball or his body. He needs to get back into the classroom to study effective fair catching.
  • The Kyle Arrington pick was the EXACT same play that cost the Patriots a perfect season in 2007. Eli Manning read the blitz and threw a corner post route to the X receiver. McCourty, much like Ellis Hobbs on that fateful day, was completely beaten. Great read by Arrington to come off his man and make the play there.
  • Arrington actually had a really solid day. Of course all anyone is going to remember is the PI call, but I was very pleased with his play.
  • There’s a scene in Rocky II when, in between rounds, Rocky tells his trainer, “I ain’t goin’ down no more!” That’s what I thought of as soon as I saw Brady’s face after New England’s first touchdown of the day. And from that point on, Brady really turned it on. It was just a little too late.
  • There was a brief cut, following the ensuing kickoff after the Patriots TD, where they showed Tommy B going over to say hi to Bob Kraft before the game. Near him was a young man wearing a red beanie that was looking at Brady with the kind of wide-mouthed, starry-eyed adoration that is usually reserved for men staring at Brady’s wife. I’d make fun of that young man, but I do the exact same thing and I watch the games at home.
  • It’s a very weird feeling , in this day and age, to be a Pats fan and to be more nervous when your offense is on the field than when your defense is.
  • Love the defensive 3rd down playcalling yesterday. A lot more blitzes and disguised coverages. It all leads me to believe that the complete lack of pressure that New England hasn’t been generating is more the result of head-scratching gameplanning than a pure lack of ability.
  • If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that there was a low-scoring game between LSU and Alabama on Saturday.
  • I don’t think it’s erroneous to say that this team needs Wes Welker almost as much as it needs Tom Brady. The Patriots were completely stagnant until Welker got going. Once he did, the entire offense opened up.
  • Rare signs of life from the Gillette faithful in the 4th quarter.
  • GRONK! Guy is just a beast.
  • Made 33 straight 4th quarter FGs?? Really, Fox? Come on!!! Who is in charge of finding these stats and putting them up at the worst possible time??
  • I know it was the right call, and there wasn’t really much that Arrington could do, but that Pass Interference call  was the equivalent of the driver in front of you intentionally slamming on the brakes just so you rear end him and have to foot the bill for a new set of wheels. Sucks to be a defensive player in this league.
  • That PI call at the end, though, was a no-brainer and an absolutely horrible angle by Sergio Brown. Basically just ran right into Victor Cruz on what would have likely been an incomplete pass. Paging Rodney Harrison.
  • Rush defense remains solid. Stopping Brandon Jacobs on 2nd and Goal from the 1 is pretty impressive.
  • Didn’t do much good, though, did it, Jake Ballard?
  • Jake Ballard’s number? 85. David Tyree’s number? You guessed it – 85. Debt for SpyGate repaid and then some, football gods. Enough already.
  • I spoke to my friend after the game, who was equally as miserable as I was, and we were both in agreement: this team is not of Super Bowl caliber. It’s especially frustrating knowing that they so easily could be if they could just put a few more things together – but I would not feel confident if this team had to face the Giants, Saints, Lions, Packers, or Eagles in February.


This is one of those losses that gets under your skin and just burrows there like some weird mutant space-bug. It’s a game that the Patriots should have won, but didn’t because of some crazy catches and critical defensive mistakes that ended up costing them the game. The Jets did the Patriots a favor earlier in the day by defeating the Buffalo Bills, giving New England the opportunity to take sole possession of 1st place in the division. However, once again New England couldn’t capitalize and Brady took his first loss at home in 31 games. It would appear that this is officially the year that streaks end for the Patriots.

Which leads me to believe that, since this is the year everything gets shaken up, there just may be another streak that has been associated with the Patriots as of late that may be falling this January.

I just hope it’s their playoff loss streak and not the streak of New England having the best record in the division since 2001. At this point in the season, who knows.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be under my desk.

Pats Pulpit

In Which We Take A (Short) Break From Our Previously Scheduled Castillo Bashing - October 10, 2011 by indyfootballreport

There’s no element of fandom I dislike more than the “burn this village to save it” crowd. Five minutes after the loss, when the rest of us are just angry about that, they’re already off on their tiresome crusades about…
Iggles Blog – Philadelphia Eagles Blog

The New England Patriots acquire WR Chad Ocho Cinco from the Bengals - July 30, 2011 by indyfootballreport

The Patriots have acquired 33-year old WR Chad Ocho Cinco from the Bengals for a 5th round pick in 2012 and a 6th round pick in 2013.  Ocho Cinco played in 14 games (12 starts) for the Bengals last year and he caught 67 passes for 831 yards (12.4 avg) with 4 TD grabs.  He has now played in 151 games (132 starts) in his first 10 years in the NFL and he has caught 751 passes for 10,783 yards (14.4 avg) with 66 TD grabs.  Ocho Cinco also has carried the ball 24 times for 175 yards (7.3 ypc) in his NFL career.  Ocho Cinco has made it to 6 Pro Bowls in his first 10 years in the NFL.  He could make it to his 7th Pro Bowl in 2011 if he can stay healthy because he will be catching passes from Tom Brady now.  I love this pickup for the Patriots as they didn’t give up too much to get Ocho Cinco.

New England Patriots NFL News – Patriots Football Blog

StarCraft Universe Raid Trailer–Rebirth Of The StarCraft MMO: Nugget From The Net - July 16, 2011 by indyfootballreport

"StarCraft Universe" is the rebirth of the StarCraft 2 MMO mod "World of StarCraft" that took the collective StarCraft 2 and World of Warcraf …

Continue reading StarCraft Universe Raid Trailer–Rebirth Of The StarCraft MMO: Nugget From The Net

First Regime

What Should The Cowboys Expect From David Buehler? - May 27, 2011 by indyfootballreport

David Buehler, center, celebrates with Mat McBriar, left, and Martin Rucker after kicking the winning field goal in overtime  against the Colts.

When the Eagles drafted a kicker a couple of weeks ago, there was a lot of discussion about whether the Cowboys should look into signing longtime Eagles kicker David Akers.

At the time, we put the question to a vote, and the response was quite overwhelming: 69% of Blogging The Boys readers voted to bring him in, while only 12% were willing to give current Cowboys kicker David Buehler a chance.

David Buehler, in his first year as place kicker made 75% of his field goals last year. More worrying for many fans than his overall percentage was his inconsistency. While he was rock solid from 50-plus yards (4-of-5, only missing on a 59-yarder), he struggled especially in the 30-to-45 range (9-of-14).

It seems like many fans are ready to move on from Buehler based on his first year percentages, but before going down that road, we probably need to provide some context for those numbers. Which is why we’ll look at all the place kickers drafted in the last ten years and see how they’ve fared in the NFL – after the break.

23 kickers (excluding punters) were drafted since 2000 by NFL teams. Of those 23, only 14 attempted at least 20 field goals in their NFL career. That is a pretty high bust rate for a position that is usually taken in the late rounds, and where you usually have your pick of the number one or two guys in college football.

Those 14 kickers had an average field goal percentage of 77% in their first NFL season, only marginally better than David Buehler’s 75% in his first year. Only two of the drafted kickers, Ryan Succop and Nick Folk, had a percentage above 80%.

The question now is, can Buehler improve on his percentage in his second year as a field goal kicker, and do his drafted peers offer any hope that he will improve?

Excluding Buehler, there are 13 kickers who’ve had a second year in the NFL. The overall average of all players did not improve much in the second year, moving ‘only’ to 80%. But there are two observable trajectories: 8 of the thirteen improved the FG percentage from an average of 75% to 84%, while 5 other kickers stagnated or declined in their second year (from 79% to 75%). So there is hope for Buehler yet, if he can join the ranks of the kickers with an upward trajectory.

What Buehler needs for that to happen is he has to further hone his craft, and he probably needs some competition to get better. In stark contrast to last year where Buehler was competing only against himself, the Cowboys this year have brought in veteran Kris Brown, himself a 77.3% career kicker, to provide competition for Buehler. Per Jason Garrett:

“He’s proven that he can make long kicks,” Garrett said of Buehler. “He’s proven he can make some good kicks. He needs to improve his consistency. Going forward, he will compete to be the kicker of this team.”

There is one final sobering thought in this analysis though. The career average for all the 14 kickers I looked at for this post is ‘only’ 79.5%. So while there certainly is upside to Buehler’s kicking game, and particularly his medium distance kicks, the numbers suggest the upside may not be quite as high as you’d like. Although I’d probably be happy with any number starting with an 8.

Drafted Player/Team 1st NFL year 2nd NFL year Career
Year Round Name Team FGA FGM FG% FGA FGM FG% FGA FGM FG%
2009 7 Ryan Succop KAN 29 25 86.2% 26 20 76.9% 55 45 81.8%
2007 6 Nick Folk DAL 31 26 83.9% 22 20 90.9% 120 94 78.3%
2004 3 Nate Kaeding SDG 25 20 80.0% 24 21 87.5% 200 173 86.5%
2001 4 Bill Gramatica ARI 20 16 80.0% 21 15 71.4% 48 37 77.1%
2007 6 Mason Crosby GNB 39 31 79.5% 34 27 79.4% 137 107 78.1%
2005 2 Mike Nugent NYJ 28 22 78.6% 27 24 88.9% 119 94 79.0%
2000 6 Paul Edinger CHI 27 21 77.8% 31 26 83.9% 180 135 75.0%
2004 5 Josh Scobee JAX 31 24 77.4% 30 23 76.7% 187 144 77.0%
2006 4 Stephen Gostkowski NWE 26 20 76.9% 24 21 87.5% 134 113 84.3%
2009 5 David Buehler DAL 32 24 75.0% - - - – - –
32 24 75.0%
2005 6 Dave Rayner IND 35 26 74.3% 22 15 68.2% 75 55 73.3%
2003 7 Josh Brown SEA 30 22 73.3% 25 23 92.0% 244 199 81.6%
2000 1 Sebastian Janikowski OAK 32 22 68.8% 28 23 82.1% 333 262 78.7%
2000 6 Neil Rackers CIN 21 12 57.1% 28 17 60.7% 292 232 79.5%
Average 29.0 22.2 76.6% 26.3 21.2 80.4% 154.0 122.4 79.5%

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