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  1. #1
    Tampa_Ram's Avatar
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    Punt? screw that, we're kicking!!!

    Inside Slant: How NFL kicker can dominate

    October, 3, 2012 Oct 3
    PM ET

    By Mike Sando |

    As promised, Kevin Seifert and I went into detail during the latest "Inside Slant" podcast regarding the game-changing value kicker Greg Zuerlein is providing the St. Louis Rams.

    This was more than a conversation about kickers. With analysis from Dean Oliver and John McTigue of ESPN Stats & Information reveal, we demonstrated the profound effects a kicker can have if he can deliver on field-goal tries from up to 60 yards, as Zuerlein has done.

    The flexibility Zuerlein has afforded the Rams accounts for more than half the team's roughly 10-point improvement in net point differential this season, according to Oliver's calculations. Zuerlein has given the Rams about 4.4 expected points per game over an average play, equating to 17 points this season. No NFL team's kicking game added more than 1.7 expected points per game last season.

    The first chart, courtesy of McTigue, compares the current Rams to the 2011 pre-Zuerlein version in terms of fourth-down decision-making from the opponents' 42- to 32-yard lines.

    Of course, we don't know whether Zuerlein will continue making long kicks, but he has been remarkably consistent so far. Zuerlein has made all 12 tries, including five from 40-49 yards and three from longer. He converted from 60, 58, 48 and 24 yards during a 19-13 victory over Seattle in Week 4. He made long kicks consistently during training camp.

    2011 vs. 2012 Rams Fourth-down Decisions from Opponents' 42-32 Yard Lines

    Decision 2011 2012
    Punt 36.8% 0.0%
    FG try 10.5% 100.0%
    Go for it 52.6% 0.0%

    The second chart, also from McTigue, compares the 2012 Rams against other NFL teams based on their fourth-down decision making from the opponents' 42- to 32-yard lines.

    The Rams have attempted three field goals, making all three. The rest of the league has punted 40 times, attempted 24 field goals and gone for a first down 13 times.

    2012 Rams' Fourth-down Decisions from Opponents' 42-32 Yard Lines

    Decision NFL Rams
    Punt 51.9% 0.0%
    FG try 31.2% 100.0%
    Go for it 16.9% 0.0%

    The final chart compares the Rams' 2011 decision-making in these situations to league averages for 2011. The Rams punted seven times, attempted two field goals and went for a first down 10 times, gaining three first downs.

    In all cases, game situations could compel a team to pass up a field goal even if the team's kicker could convert from long range. For example, a team trailing by four points with 10 seconds left wouldn't attempt a field goal. There were 120 field goal tries and 120 decisions to go for it last season. That is why the 29.7 percent figure appears twice (not a typo, in other words).
    2011 Rams vs. Rest of NFL (same situations as in previous charts)

    Decision NFL Rams
    Punt 40.6% 36.8%
    FG try 29.7% 10.5%
    Go for it 29.7% 52.6%

    Legatron is a beast!!! and a true game changer!!!

    GO RAMS!!!

  2. #2
    citr92's Avatar
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    Re: Punt? screw that, we're kicking!!!

    yep, offensive drives will stall, whether we like it or not...but we have Zuerlein on our side...we win anyway

    sure TD's are always better, but to have kicker that doesn't miss is still awesome, if not just as good

  3. #3
    berg8309's Avatar
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    Re: Punt? screw that, we're kicking!!!

    Soon the Rams will be field goal range from their own 1

  4. #4
    AtlantaRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: Punt? screw that, we're kicking!!!

    I'm going to guess that by the end of the year (if not now) were the NFL to hold a re-draft, Legatron wouldn't be there when we pick at the top of the 6th. Thanks for sharing the article. Can't wait for him to set the record

  5. #5
    MJRevell is offline Registered User
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    Re: Punt? screw that, we're kicking!!!

    He's going to be a very handy weapon down the stretch for sure.

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