Instant reactions: Cleveland Browns go through the motions in win
Kickers suck. I am not saying the Browns kickers suck. I am saying that as a category of professional football players, kickers as a whole suck. All kickers suck.
The Browns kickers suck a little less than other teams’ kickers. The punter had a couple of good punts inside the 20-yard line today. The place kicker made their extra points today, which is good because the Haslam’s now own a soccer team in Columbus. Thus, they have access to an unlimited amount of kickers in the pipeline.
I wonder if football wouldn’t be better off without the kicking game. What does it really add to the game anyway? I know Vince Lombardi created the punt as an offensive weapon to gain a field position advantage. The idea was to give the opponent the ball then stop them on four downs and get the ball in better field position. But now that everybody wastes a roster spot on a punter, that advantage is lost.
Plus, analytics are starting to show that teams have a better chance of winning by going for it on fourth down than punting. Extending the drive, where the rules favor the offense, is a much better option than giving the ball to the opponent.
I have yet to mention the give-up unit. The give-up unit is what I call the field goal team. When teams choose to kick a field goal for three points is the equivalent of giving up. Teams that consistently kick field goals consistently lose. It is better to go for it and extend the drive than take three points. Do you know who loved to kick field goals? Hue Jackson. Yes, 1-31 Hue Jackson. How did that work out?
I long for a day when the NFL will be a kicker-free zone. But the Browns kicker still suck less than the rest of the NFL kickers. In fact, kicker 3 made a 49-yard field goal to make the score 17-13.
The Cleveland Browns have improved tremendously. They have gone from being an absolute mess to playing one of the most boring and bland football games in the preseason. One could be upset about a bland and boring game. But personally, a boring preseason game is the hallmark of a well-coached professional football team. It’s about time we got a boring win.