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Eagles Non-highlight of the Game: Icing the Kicker

Oct 1, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT

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tynes

You probably jumped out of your seat when Lawrence Tynes missed his 54-yard field goal to the left, as did the 69,000 fans at the Linc on Sunday night, only to have Andy Reid pull the rug right out from in under you, too. There was no 54-yard field goal attempt. That fleeting moment of jubilation may have suddenly turned to panic as you realized what had transpired.

The head coach did one of those things head coaches do that nobody else understands. He iced the kicker.

The Eagles were fortunate Tynes missed from 54 yards again, for real this time, no take backs, sealing a hard-fought 19-17 victory over the Giants. I can only imagine the thrashing Reid would be taking today had the place kicker nailed the second try, as we’ve seen so often on highlights in the past. Then SportsCenter flips to a shot of anonymous imbecile coach trying to be all like, “I knew what I was doing,” but is completely incapable of pulling off any expression except self-loathing.

Reid didn’t have his I’m-a-dummy-in-front-of-a-national-TV-audience moment this time, therefore the moment will largely go forgotten outside of before and during future Eagles-Giants tilts. But why? Why forget? There is a lesson to be learned from this. It’s not just Reid, either. This is a call to every NFL head coach who currently is not reading.

Don’t ice the kicker in this situation.

What is even the alleged benefit to icing the kicker? You’re going to rattle his tiny kicker confidence?

I say you’re only giving him time. Time for the special teamers to trot out to the field. Time for him to eye up his target. Time to set up. Time to judge the conditions. And if coach calls the timeout right as the ball is being snapped, an opportunity to go through the motions and actually practice the kick.

Think about it. These coaches are letting professionals have a warm-up try. All they do is kick a football for a living. Wouldn’t more tries make it more likely the kicker is going to correct any mechanical errors, now knowing exactly what he needs to do in order to boot that little piggy through the uprights?

You head coaches are going about this all wrong. The Giants had no timeouts. Make them run out there and kick it on the fly. It seems to me something is more likely to go wrong when everybody is out there cold, rushing around while the play clock is ticking down, threatening to transform a difficult field goal attempt into an impossible one.

Heck, I’ll even allow for icing the kicker if the other team used their own timeout to set it up. Give him more time to think about it, but don’t wait until the last possible moment right before they’re going to kick the ball! Do they let Kobe Bryant take a practice free throw before he shoots two for the win? Of course not, how utterly ridiculous would that be?

Andy Reid got away with it on Sunday, but I haven’t heard too many people admit they are a fan of this tactic, a long and distinguished list that included Michael Vick immediately after the game. Even your own players don’t want to ice the opposing team’s kicker, coach. Why does every last one of you insist on doing it?