Field Goal Percentage and Beyond: Is There a Better Way To Evaluate Kickers? | Beaufort County Now | The NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” league, and of all the positions on the roster, kicker is possibly the ficklest in terms of how players are viewed by fans.

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Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of The Riot Report. The author of this post is Vincent Richardson.

    The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league, and of all the positions on the roster, kicker is possibly the ficklest in terms of how players are viewed by fans. Fans expect kickers to make field goals and, while there might be a bit of excitement around a kicker when they make a game winner or an improbable effort from north of sixty yards, generally the only time fans notice kickers is when they miss.

    Because of this, it's often hard to get much of a perspective on how good different kickers actually are, and while a cursory glance at a player's field goal percentage can tell part of the story, it should be fairly obvious that this alone is not an accurate reflection of how valuable a kicker can be. This is something that Joey Slye mentioned when talking to the media during OTAs.

    "I think statistics obviously play a little bit of a role" acknowledged Slye. "If you're 50% on your field goals, then you're probably not doing very well and if you're 100% you're doing really well. I think they also can lie at certain points. If someone's 80% and they're hitting a bunch of long field goals all the time and if someone's 95% but all their field goals are within 40 yards; it's a little bit of a difference in statistics."

    With that in mind, and to try and bring a tiny bit of order to the world of NFL kicking, I wanted to try to delve into the data to try and find a more effective metric to judge kickers by than field goal percentage. So, what can be achieved with a little bit of data manipulation?

    [ ... ]

    Read the full transcript HERE on The Riot Report.

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