As I am sure you have heard, the NFL is fixing their biggest problems and making drastic changes to football pressure monitoring and extra point distances. Considering the rest of the NFL is inconsequential at the Falcoholic, we have to ask: will the change impact Falcons long-time kicker Matt Bryant?
If you recall, the NFL toyed with this extended extra point last preseason, resulting in eight missed extra points out of 141 attempts, per Alex Marvez of Fox Sports.
What about Matt Bryant? Pro Football Reference has statistics on every single one of Matt Bryant's field goals, including ones between 30 to 39 yards that we will look at. Have the statistics shown that age is slowly creeping up on Bryant?
I will preface the following stats by pointing out that there is no context to the numbers. Was the kick tipped thanks to a bad block? Was wind a major factor? Was Bryant wondering why there is another Steve Jobs movie coming out seemingly only weeks after the last Steve Jobs movie? Is Steve Jobs the new Spider man franchise?
Bryant has made 97 out of his 106 career field goals within 30 to 39 yards. Does that mean we should expect him to miss about 8.5% of all of his extra points?
Absolutely not. In the same way that wine gets better with time, Money Matt Bryant gets more money with age. Five of those misses were in his rookie year way back in 2002. He has missed only three of his 45 field goals in the 30 to 39 yard range since joining the Falcons.
These obviously include kicks up to 39 yards, but still show that Bryant has not lacked the leg to boot in the longer kicks.
As pointed out in the Marvez articles, some kickers are concerned that their legs will still have the same strength late into the season, especially when playing in cold and windy locations. The Falcons play in chilly New York city in September (brrrrr) and Nashville in October (bring your snow shoes).
Based on Atlanta's schedule and Bryant's statistics, the Falcons will not be struggling with extra points in 2015.