The Cincinnati Bengals and the Washington Redskins each traveled just under 4,000 miles in their trips to London…. and tied.
I wasn’t in the best of moods anyways due to the 9:30 start time, but the tie put a sour taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. As I looked at my Twitter timeline, other people didn’t seem to like it either and were bashing the result of the game. Not a lot of people like to see a game end in a tie and this game wasn’t any different.
Both teams had chances to win the game. Mike Nugent missed an extra point that would have given the Bengals a one point lead and also missed another field goal earlier in the game. Dustin Hopkins missed a potential game winning field goal late in overtime. If you flashback to last week’s Sunday Night game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals, each kicker could have won the game if they converted a chip shot field goal in overtime. Instead, the game ended in a tie. A common theme that both of these games shared: Kickers struggling when it mattered (and the game also being horrendous to watch).
The NFL needs to craft a solution that ends ties and I have a proposal the league should consider.
The NFL recently moved the PAT back to the 15 yard-line and made the value of a good kicker sky rocket. This was evident when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up in the Draft to take Florida State Kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round. My proposal makes that value ascend even more and also will end ties in the process. I don’t know if this has ever been mentioned in the past, but this is what I propose:
Make the Kickers kick field goals like penalty shots to decide the game.
The NFL would be able to bring the intensity of penalty kicks into football which would be great for the game. Once a full period of overtime is over, instead of a tie, we’ll go to this method to decide the game. No more ties. No more problems.
There are some differences in this system in comparison to soccer. Instead of having the best of 5 system that soccer has, it will be sudden death after each team gets a chance to kick one field goal. The attempts will start at the 20 yard-line and will go back in 5 yard increments if both kickers convert their attempts. Once one of the kickers miss or their kick is blocked, the opposing kicker will have a chance to make the field goal to win the game. If he already made his prior kick from that distance, the game is over.
However, if both kickers miss, they will restart from whatever yard line they both missed from and keep kicking.
The only problem with this solution is if both kickers either keep making or missing continuously. There are reasons to believe that this won’t happen. Let’s say both kickers are on their game and they don’t miss. Let’s say the kick gets to the 35 yard-line and each kicker has to make a 52 yard field goal. After 8 weeks of the 2016 season, kickers are 33/64 (51.5%) from attempts that are 50 yards or greater. Their chances of making the kick is unlikely so at least one of them will likely miss their kick.
And if both kickers keep missing? They’ll likely not have a job the next day. This puts a lot of pressure on the kicker position that has often been criticized for even being in the game and also gives the position much needed value. It makes a team dangerous for having a consistent kicker in their arsenal.
This system isn’t perfect but neither is the system currently in place. The NFL isn’t soccer. The nature of soccer makes ties a more common occurrence. Football however, we may see a tie once every few years if that. Fans don’t like ties, the players and coaches don’t like ties, and the NFL shouldn’t as well.