Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Field goal kickers have gotten a lot more accurate

[NFL] kickers entered Monday making nearly two-thirds (65.8%) of all 50-plus-yard attempts. Compare that with the 63.6% success rate on all kicks in 1980. Being automatic is now expected, with an all-time-record 85.4% of attempts sailing through the uprights.

Strangely, strategies haven't changed accordingly. Teams are attempting barely more 50-plus-yard field goals today (4.6 a season) than in 1980 (2.9), when the success rate was a meager 28.4%.

--Michael Salfino, WSJ, on human progress