Elam good but not great
Posted Apr. 01 at 09:46 AM
I see that Denver Post columnist Woody Paige is saying that the Hall of Fame should make room for Jason Elam. Elam was a good kicker for the Broncos for years and retired on Wednesday.
I’m all for putting kickers and punters in the Hall, but please.
Elam isn’t one of the first five kickers I would put in the HOF. He was a reliable kicker for years, but he wasn’t any more accurate or better than the other kickers of his generation. And he benefited for years from kicking at elevation.
Looking at the all-time numbers, I see a whole bunch of kickers who have been more accurate. And Elam didn’t put together a great postseason resume to help his cause.
So to me, the column by Paige makes no sense.
As best as I can tell, the most deserving kicker right now would be punter Ray Guy, who dominated his position in the ‘70s. I also recall Guy making an incredible catch on a high snap in a Super Bowl against Washington, saving the Raiders losing points early in that game. If you can dig up the highlights on YouTube, I think you’ll agree that no other punter in the league would have handled that snap.
As for kickers, I’m not sure. Maybe Nick Lowery or Morten Andersen? Those guys were a lot better than the rest of the league for a long time – they were 10-15 years ahead of their time. Nate Kaeding and Mike Vanderjagt are the top 2 on the accuracy list right now, but both missed some big, big kicks in the playoffs.
Adam Vinatieri had some big postseason kicks – a longer field goal in the snow against Oakland in the playoffs and the big winner in the Super Bowl against the Rams – but his overall body of work in the regular season isn’t good enough.
There just isn’t a kicker out there, as best as I can tell, who separates himself from all the other guys. They’re all so good now.
At the kicker position, it’s really easier to put together a Hall of Shame. Then you can start debating which misses were easier or more costly – Scott Norwood’s wide right, Gary Yepremian’s wild throw, Gary Anderson’s failure to close out Atlanta in the NFC Championship, etc.
But back to Elam: Good kicker, but just not any better than the other dozen good kickers of the last 15 years.
ALL-TIME FIELD GOAL ACCURACY
Players with at least 100 field goal attempts who have converted over 80 percent:
FG FGA Pct
150 172 87.2 Nate Kaeding
230 266 86.5 Mike Vanderjagt
134 156 85.9 Robbie Gould
196 230 85.2 Shayne Graham
103 121 85.1 Stephen Gostkowski
136 161 84.5 Rob Bironas
471 563 83.7 Matt Stover
229 275 83.3 Phil Dawson
189 227 83.3 Jeff Reed
322 388 83.0 Ryan Longwell
473 574 82.4 John Carney
262 319 82.1 David Akers
338 412 82.0 Adam Vinatieri
307 375 81.9 Jeff Wilkins
427 522 81.8 Jason Hanson
231 283 81.6 Jay Feely
408 500 81.6 John Kasay
145 178 81.5 Matt Bryant
303 373 81.2 Olindo Mare
166 205 81.0 Josh Brown
119 147 81.0 Lawrence Tynes
233 288 80.9 Rian Lindell
436 540 80.7 Jason Elam
245 306 80.1 Joe Nedney
538 672 80.1 Gary Anderson
200 250 80.0 Mike Hollis
383 479 80.0 Nick Lowery
Posted by JOHN MACHO | Apr. 05 at 03:11 AM
Agree with the views in the article. I'd like to see Morten Andersen and Ray Guy in the Hall of Fame. Hall of Shame sounds like fun, and put Lin Elliot at the very top of the list.
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