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New York Giants May Benefit by Investing in a New Kicker This Offseason

January 30th, 2013 at 10:30 AM
By Kyle Langan

'Super Bowl-8-2' photo (c) 2012, Stephen Luke - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Similarly to every other position in the NFL, today's kickers are simply better athletes than their predecessors. When an athlete realizes at a young age that they possess enough athletic prowess to make it to the NFL, developing the skills to kick has become an extremely attractive option. Kickers make nearly the average salary of NFL running backs and take next to no beating whatsoever.

Young athletes and their parents have taken note, and more than ever there is an infusion of real athleticism at the kicker position.

With so much more emphasis on football than soccer in the United States, talented soccer players are often opting out of a life of bouncing between farm teams in favor of trying their hand at kicking a football. The infusion of talent at the NFL level has been noticeable.

The list of impressive kickers to burst onto the scene in the last several years in the NFL has been quite impressive. Blair Walsh, Alex Henry, Dan Bailey, Justin Tucker, Greg Zuerlein and Kai Forbath make up what is rapidly being considered the best group of kickers in the NFL.

Walsh hit a record 10 field goals this season from beyond 50 yards, and led the NFL in made field goals. Forbath set an NFL record with 17 consecutive field goals made. Neither Walsh nor Tucker missed from over 50 yards. Bailey did not miss the entire season from under 50 yards. Zuerlein hit from a long of 60 yards and attempted from over 70 against the Miami Dolphins, missing wide right.

All of these are incredibly impressive numbers for any kicker, never mind kickers with two or fewer years experience. How the New York Giants factor into this is quite simple: kicker Lawrence Tynes is 34 years of age and is currently a free agent.

Though Tynes was second to Walsh in field goals made in the NFL this season with 33, he had key misses that leave room for an upgrade. 

Against the Philadelphia Eagles he was short from 50-yards as time wound down and the Giants ultimately lost by two. During a late season bout with the Washington Redskins, Tynes had a second quarter miss from 48-yards and the Giants ultimately lost by one.

For all of the issues that the Giants had in 2012, with an upgrade at kicker, they could easily have been 11-5 with a 5-1 record in the division.

Take a second to consider that. 

Tynes has done a lot for the Giants franchise, but when there is a youth movement as significant as the current one at the kicker position, Jerry Reese needs to take notice. The Giants are all about economy as they turn their roster over. Reese likes to pick up players who can add a lot to the team at a relatively low cost.

A kicker with a powerful leg would be a great investment for the Giants at this junction. 

Also…

Tags: Football, Lawrence Tynes, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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9 Responses to “New York Giants May Benefit by Investing in a New Kicker This Offseason”

  1.  kujo says:

    I’ve been a Tynes supporter for quite some time, defending him from ridiculous charges of not being “clutch” and not being whatever a franchise kicker is. But I agree–it might be time to at least bring in some serious competition. In today’s NFL, you just have to be able to kick a 50 yarder. Not being able to have that sort of reliable weapon changes our whole offensive approach once we get to the 50 yardline.

    •  Krow says:

      I don’t know that anyone ever accused him of not being clutch. But the fact remains that he’s not one of the strong legs in the NFL. His range is considerably less than the top tier kickers … and the same can be said for his kickoffs.

      From the mid-40s his percentage is fine.

      •  Levito says:

        There’s at least a valid argument for saying he’s not clutch. Mainly the people who want to say he’s clutch bring up his kick to send the Giants to the SB in Green Bay. But they neglect to mention the 2 FGs he missed that could have ended the game sooner.

        He’s made some big kicks, no question. But he’s missed some as well. Bottom line is he’s a slightly above average kicker when you look at the numbers alone, and slightly above average isn’t what I want to see the Giants content with.

  2.  Levito says:

    I think it’s definitely time to move on. Not sure what Tynes is asking for, but I’m sure there’s cheaper options out there with stronger legs. Tynes has been very good the past few seasons, but he missed some big kicks this season, and just doesn’t have the power where I’m confident he’ll hit it ever from beyong 40 yards. A stronger leg at a cheaper price would be a welcome sight.

    It would also be nice if the offense would figure out how to score more TDs. Trading TDs for FGs is an easy way to lose a few extra games.

    •  Krow says:

      If Tynes had a stronger leg we’d have beaten The Dream Team way back in September … and we’d have made the playoffs.

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  4.  GOAT56 says:

    Those were extremely tough conditions in GB. Blaming him for missing those kicks isn’t fair because I think most kickers would have struggled. I think overall he’s been a clutch.

    He’s missed too many easy kicks but that Philly game wasn’t one of them. Even a strong leg is only 50% from 54 yards out.

    I think Tynes is fine but we should look to improve and find our kicker for the foreseen future. It appears that Tynes is trending downward so it appears the right time to bet on a young kicker that should be able to at least duplicate his 2012 accuracy while giving us a stronger leg.

  5.  rlhjr says:

    “New York Giants May Benefit by Investing in a New Kicker This Offseason”

    I never had it in for Tynes. He has indeed made some clutch kicks.
    But when you have to run a giveaway play or punt, because you’re not sure……..check that, you know full damn well your FG kicker is stinks starting at 45 yards out. And it does’nt matter if he’s it indoors or out.

    I guess the weeks he uses his “Deer Antler” he consistently clears the end zone with his kick offs. And it always generates amazement from our game day blog crew.

    My opening quoted sentence uses the word “MAY”. Come on really “MAY”?
    Get another kicker for God’s sake. Tynes really does suck balls.

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