NFL field goal kicking has become too accurate

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Rian Lindell (4) kicks a field goal during the first half against the...

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Rian Lindell (4) kicks a field goal during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium earlier this season. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:19 PM ET

NFL kickers are so accurate now, they’ve booted field-goal drama between the uprights, over the netting and right out of the stadium.

Almost every kicker is “Mr. Automatic.” They seldom miss.

It’s time to make their jobs more difficult with a couple of drastic rule changes.

Placekicking success in the NFL has been trending upward for decades, and shows no signs of plateauing. Halfway through the 2013 season, placekickers are on pace to set the league’s season record for field-goal success: 86.0%.

From every 10-yard increment, in fact, kickers are better than ever. (See accompanying chart.)

Even on attempts from 50 yards out or longer, their success rate this season is 65.2%. That’s right, practically two-thirds of even the longest kicks attempted still sail between the uprights, many of them well over the crossbar and into the netting. That’s better than the success rate on all field goals attempted in any NFL season through the 1981.


Photos