New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz (3) hands off to running back Peyton Barber (25) against New Orleans Saints during the first half on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.

Whenever people talk about football, why don't they talk about kickers? Is it because kickers don't matter? Is it because their job is easy? No, it's because nobody realizes how important and how hard their role is. One of my favorite quotes about kicking is "Field goals get you the job, but extra points keep you the job."

Think about it: The Saints are in the Superbowl on the opponent's 40-yard line with one second on the clock, and they call timeout. They're losing by 1, so do they throw a Hail Mary and risk it being swatted or intercepted? No, they send Wil Lutz, the 24-year-old kicker, out and he'll attempt the game-winner from 57 yards out.

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I'm not saying that throwing a Hail Mary is easy, but kicking a field goal doesn't involve the thought, "Will the receiver catch the ball?" It involves the thought of "Can he kick it far enough, accurate enough, and fast enough?" The first two thoughts are self-explanatory, but people often forget that kickers have about a 2-4 second window before the defensive line can get in front of the ball and block it. To help put kickers more in the spotlight, I have created an Instagram page called The Kicker Report. 

Peter Laughlin


New Orleans