Redskins lead the NFL in kicking changes

October 9, 2012

Update: The Redskins have signed Kai Forbath, according to Mike Jones. That makes 19.

If Billy Cundiff is gone from the Redskins by Sunday’s game, the team will ask a 19th employee to attempt a field goal since 1994. (Well, assuming the team attempts a field goal on Sunday. And assuming it isn’t taken by Graham Gano.)

We’ve been over this ground before — see this post from 2009, for example, when I included lots of photos of Redskins placekickers from the dismal past. The point is, Washington uses many kickers.

Just saying that “19″ number out loud makes it seem like ominous, but is it actually higher the number of kickers used by your average NFL team? Well, yes. By a lot.

In fact, no other team has used more than 13 field-goal kickers since 1994. Also, three-quarters of the league — 24 teams — have used nine or fewer kickers, less than half of Washington’s total if Cundiff goes. (Research via Pro Football Reference.)

I have no idea if there is a correlation between team success and kicker turnover — the Giants are near the top of this list and they compete for Super Bowls regularly, while the Lions are at the bottom and they don’t. Maybe the biggest damage done is to the few and proud who like to wear kicker jerseys to FedEx Field, jerseys that are often made obsolete between when you get in the car and when you arrive in Landover.

Still and all, the point remains: Nobody cuts kickers like the Washington Redskins.

(The median number of kickers used by NFL teams since ’94 is 8. The average — if you exclude franchises like the Browns, Texans and Ravens, who did not compete in every season — is somewhere between 8 and 9. See full list below.)

(The Redskins kickers, listed in order of field-goal attempts since 1994: Suisham, Gano, Conway, Hall, Blanton, Murray, Lohmiller, Blanchard, Novak, Tuthill, Cundiff, Kimrin, Cortez, Husted, Chandler, Heppner, Akers, Bentley.)

19 – Redskins*

13- Cardinals, Cowboys, 49ers

12- Chiefs, Giants

11- Vikings

10 – Saints

9 – Bears, Bucaneers, Colts, Jaguars, Rams

8- Dolphins, Falcons, Panthers, Raiders, Ravens

7 – Bengals, Bills, Chargers, Eagles, Jets, Seahawks

6 – Steelers

5 – Broncos, Titans

4 – Browns, Packers, Patriots

3 – Texans

2 – Lions

* – Assuming Kai Forbath kicks on Sunday.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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