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  • How Mike Vanderjagt saved the NFL

    Ok, the headline is obviously a lie. He didn't save the NFL, he saved one pointless, insignificant stat.

    A couple of recent threads got me thinking about NFL statistics, how they are misused, misunderstood and taken out of context. My least favorite, as I've mentioned several times, is 'this team is 45-2 when this player runs for 100 yards'. I won't go off on my typical rant about that particular stupid stat. Instead I'll give you a great example of a stat that, by its very definition, is useless. Most accurate FG kicker in NFL history (henceforth known as MAFGKiNFLH, a terrible acronym for a useless stat).

    Who holds the NFL record for highest career yards per carry? That would be former Broncos punter Jim Krieg with 63.0 (to point out the obvious, he had one career carry for 63 yards). Any kind of average or percentage stat needs a minimum, that's where MAFGKiNFLH fails. The minimum to qualify for MAFGKiNFLH (yes, I'm going to repeat MAFGKiNFLH ad nauseum through this entire article) is 100 FG attempts, way too low. A kicker can easily meet that in 4-5 years, meaning that he is eligible for MAFGKiNFLH while still in his prime. If you were to chart the average kickers' career FG pct I would guess it peaks somewhere around years 3-7. But no matter where it peaks, it always drops drastically right before he leaves the league for good. That's why he's leaving the league, he's no longer making FGs.

    So what we end up with is a constantly rotating leaderboard. For decades the MAFGKiNFLH was whatever player reached 100 attempts most recently. An average kicker reaches 100, probably the best 100 FGs of his life, becomes MAFGKiNFLH then immediately falls back to the pack as he ages and in a year or two is overtaken by the next average kicker. As proof of this assertion, I offer the current MAFGKiNFLH leaderboard http://www.pro-football-reference.co...erc_career.htm, where 22 of the top 25 are active players.

    So how does this cycle stop? A kicker has to leave the league before his percentage starts to drop with the inevitable physical decline brought on by the aging process. That means that while he's still one of the best kickers in the game he has to either a) retire, b) suffer a career ending injury (not common among kickers) or c) be such a pain that he will be cut immediately when his numbers start to decline, instead of hanging around for years after he's well past his prime as most kickers do.

    That brings us back to Mike Vanderjagt. He's not the MAFGKiNFLH at the moment, that distinction belongs to Nate Kaeding, by 34/1000ths of a percent. Kaeding isn't just an average kicker that happened to get to 100, he's pretty good. But he's still just keeping the liquored up kicker's seat warm. As Kaeding declines with age, Vanderjagt will reclaim the crown. Like Kaeding, other kickers will temporarily reach MAFGKiNFLH status, but now, every kicker that reaches 100 FG attempts won't automatically become MAFGKiNFLH, he'll have to earn it. Because Mike Vanderjagt is annoying. Thanks Mike.

    Comments 17 Comments
    1. Bunghole's Avatar
      Liquored up kicker=Vanderjagt? I thought that was Jeff Reed!
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      "Idiot likkered up kicker" = Vanderjagt. Ask Peyton!
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      As I've said before, at least the MAFGKiNFLH doesn't need to make clutch field goals.
    1. Colts01's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by brauneyz View Post
      "Idiot likkered up kicker" = Vanderjagt. Ask Peyton!
      You stole my line!
      He really was a drama queen his last couple years here.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      Lest we forget, Vanderjagt has been replaced by an idiot liquored up punter, Pat McAfee. You have to be seriously drunk to swim in the Broad Ripple Canal.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
      LOL That was a Classic! Still one of the funniest things I heard. Why would someone interview a kicker? WHY???? lol
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      Yeah; I hated the missed FG, hated the helmet tantrum and hated the the 15 yard penalty! He was Good for the Colts but was Very Emotional like Philip Rivers.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Nice article and acronym Andy; He was a Good dude while in IND but I felt like he got too emotional and was too cocky. Its Good to have confidence in your talents and be upbeat about it but you also gotta make that FG at home against PIT too!!
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by WashProWilly View Post
      Liquored up kicker=Vanderjagt? I thought that was Jeff Reed!
      Jeff reed just ripped a paper towel dispenser of the wall, then urinated In public and argued with a cop both times. Once he was done being a total moron and Pittsburgh cut him Cincy offered him a contract. He summarily rejected it. Even a drunk moron, who urinates in a super public downtown parking lot and gets into a 3 round mma fight with an automatic paper towel dispenser knows better than to go willingly play for the bengals!!!
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Graham and Hartley are in top top 5. That's egregious. Both teams fan bases cringe when that guy does does a j pattern..
    1. Curtis's Avatar
      Vanderjagt. Oh how I loathe thee. My best friend is a Steelers fan and he bet me 100 bucks that Vanderjagt would miss the field goal in that Colts -Steelers playoff game. Of course I accepted because Vanderjagt was perfect that season...there was no way he would miss. BOOM Wide right. Game over. I'm out 100 bones.

      I'm all for getting him liquored up, and rolling his ass for my 100.
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      That stat is like a kiss of death.

      vanderjagt is more famous as being the butt of Peyton's insult as well as missing a clutch kick against the Steelers. And Kaeding, well, unless something big happens to him in the playoffs, he'll be known as the West Coast Norwood. Although to be fair to Scott Norwood, he only missed one huge playoff kick.

      And let's not forget Gary Anderson who had the greatest season in kicking history... until the playoffs.
    1. Bunghole's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mikesteelnation1 View Post
      Jeff reed just ripped a paper towel dispenser of the wall, then urinated In public and argued with a cop both times. Once he was done being a total moron and Pittsburgh cut him Cincy offered him a contract. He summarily rejected it. Even a drunk moron, who urinates in a super public downtown parking lot and gets into a 3 round mma fight with an automatic paper towel dispenser knows better than to go willingly play for the bengals!!!
      That's hilarious! We ended up with a better kicker than Reed anyway though...
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by WashProWilly View Post
      That's hilarious! We ended up with a better kicker than Reed anyway though...
      That's true... its just so damn odd. Reed went from the most accurate kicker for the previous 3 years, last year not included, to kicking for anyone who begged him after the bengals offer was turned down. This is the only man to ever kick an over 40yd fg into the open mouth of hines field, and he did it multiple times. In an instant he sucked, it didn't make sense. he was as automatic kicking at hines as a swiss watch. It still befuddles me as to what happened. Why did he just fall off a cliff? He flat out sucked prior to being cut. I think I remember the niners signing him. Any truth to that clem? If so is he still there?
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      No, he's on the Seahawks now. They literally are pulling names out of a hat and signing people at this point.