Chiefs-Broncos: Breaking down Kansas City’s kicking issues in Week 17

The Kansas City Chiefs’ kicking game was a disaster all season long. Problems continued during his 27-24 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. In this game, holding the extra point failed and the field goal was blocked and the point was taken from the board. This allowed the Broncos to stay in the game.

Problems for the season began when kicker Harrison Butker missed time with an injury. His back-up kicker played a big role when the team lost to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3. This was followed by an inconsistent performance by Butker on his return. And finally, it was a drama-filled week of speculation about whether punter Tommy Townsend was doing a good job bringing the ball down (and placing it right) on field goals and extra points.

All of this puts the execution of this unit in the spotlight in every game, with more eyes (and more pressure) every time he steps onto the field.

Let’s take a closer look at the two big placekicking errors in Sunday’s game.

Failed Extra Point Hold

Butker has sometimes been inconsistent when kicking field goals, but his back-to-back attempts have been relatively consistent this season. Coming into Sunday, he converted 31 of his 34 extra point attempts, and he maintained that consistency by going 4-3 on Sunday. In plain English, he failed the hold.

Placekickers want to kick the ball on the opposite side of the race to prevent extra spins that can cause mistakes.

Here you can see that James Winchester’s snap was successful. Townshend appears to be trying to keep his shoelaces away from Butker, but doing so causes the ball to slip out of his hands, throwing off his timing and ruining his play.

Butker appears to be thinking of attempting a one-step kick, but Townshend sticks to his usual procedure for misses of hold. He tries to advance the ball himself. This is to prevent the possibility of the defense winning the ball and then taking it back in the opposite direction for a point. However, Townsend’s efforts were to no avail.

Townshend’s frustration was evident on the sideline after the play. It was a physical mistake, but this was a very mental error, usually the snap and hold he does within a second.that is bang bang May it be obtained. Even the slightest deviation can affect the overall operation.

After receiving some harsh criticism for his holds a few weeks ago, it’s easy to conclude that Townsend may have been striving for perfection – and looking at his hands on film, he’s seen hitting the ball. It seems he was concentrating on putting it in the right place. He just didn’t secure it.

As a punter, Townshend is having a phenomenal year. He averages punts of over 50 yards, which ranks his second in the NFL. But thanks to the Chiefs’ offensive prowess, he’s 28th in punt attempts. This makes Townsend’s obligations as a holder more important to the team than punts.

blocked kick

After a fumble recovery, Patrick Mahomes made a deep throw to Justin Watson, and head coach Andy Reid chose to send the field goal team out for a 51-yard attempt with 5 seconds left in the second quarter. The kick flew wide to the left. Many blamed Townsend or Butker for the mistake. A closer look reveals that it is neither.

Denver’s defensive tackle Eyioma Uwazurike broke into the C-gap (the space between the third and fourth players on the line) to get the ball and change trajectory to take Kansas City’s three points off the board. You can take away.

The Broncos knew they had a chance to block it. This is because the longer the field goal attempt, the lower the trajectory of the ball, allowing for more distance.

Protecting field goals and points after attempts is pretty straightforward. First and foremost, every player is responsible for protecting the Gap to the Inside. Once it’s safe, they can seek help elsewhere, but as soon as these plays happen, it tends not to happen.

Here we can see that Creed Humphrey is responsible for the C gap. It’s a direct gap inside him. It is also a place where the upper sliding is aligned. But instead, Humphrey takes his D-gap defender. This leaves the uphill untouched and gives him an opportunity to block.

The Broncos achieved this by placing six defenders on the left side of the line. It’s a great schematic move for the Chiefs, as he only has four blockers on either side of his snapper Winchester.

Humphrey made a fundamental and avoidable mistake in one of the most simplistic schemes in all of football. All players on the line must adhere to the golden rule, regardless of how many players the defense sends to one side to block kicks. It is to protect the inner gap. If meetings and practices aren’t stressful, they can easily sneak in and hurt the team in big situations.


Blocked kicks are easy to fix with coaching and on-field awareness, but less so are botched holds. This suggests that the unit has not been properly coached or simply has not been coached.

It’s a snowballing mess and there’s no easy fix. With him only one game away from the playoffs, it’s too late to change holders or find a replacement for Townsend. Inserting a new player into that position and lowering the timing required for a successful kick is a difficult task in any situation. Trying to do that while making the playoffs is insane.

As the regular season ends and the playoffs begin, an eerie sense of unease lingers every time Butker and Townsend step onto the field. At this point, there’s not much you can do about it.

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