The Kicking Game

When you think about football players, a couple of positions may come to mind. You have strong lineman and speedy running backs, rocket-armed quarterbacks and sure-handed receivers.

Often forgotten in the mix of football players are the ones who use their feet to play the game. The football players that use their feet for kicking, not just for running.

Punts: One of the most overlooked parts of a football game is punting. When a team is facing a tough fourth-down situation, it will often punt the ball away. A good punter can kick the ball with distance and accuracy, pinning the opposing team near its own end zone. This puts the other team at a great disadvantage, because it will have to gain an awful lot of ground in order to score a touchdown. A solid punter is a great, yet underrated, weapon on a football team. If the punter does his job well, he makes life easier for the other players on his team.

Kickoffs: At the beginning of each half of the game and after every score, one team will kick off to the other. These kickers try to boot the ball as far as they can; making sure that the receiving team doesn't get good field position.

Field Goals: Field goal kickers play an extremely pressure-packed position. At the end of a close game, the outcome usually depends on a field goal. If the game is tied or one team is losing by one or two points, a late field goal can win the game. Many of the most famous moments in playoff and Super Bowl history have field goals that have won or lost games.

Even though kickers and punters might not get as much attention as other players, such as quarterbacks and linebackers, they play a very important role on the team. In most games, the performance of these athletes can be the difference between a win and a loss.

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