The NFL, for many reasons and with staggering consistency, is nearly impossible to truly enjoy.
It’s a sport that traffics in the destruction of human brains and bodies. It’s a sport that, at minimum, is eager to blame its problems on the politics of its players. It’s a sport run by an iron-fisted doofus. It’s a sport that, at least anecdotally, is in the middle of a lull in quality of play. The NFL has got a lot of problems. A lottttt of problems.
It’s worth heading a fresh one off at the pass, though — missed extra point attempts rule. They’re fun, and they’re funny, and 11 of them (as of early Sunday evening) in Week 11 is only a positive thing. It might be the only obvious positive thing.
First, some raw numbers on those 11 misses: It’s the most in a single week since the merger. It’s three more than there were in the entire 2014 season, the last before the kick was moved back, in less than a full day of games. Now, just 10 of the 35 players to attempt a point-after this season haven’t missed at least one.
Cincinnati’s Mike Nugent had the best bad day, so far; he came into the Bengals’ game against Buffalo 19-of-20, then missed two during a 16-12 loss. The night was young, though.
Sunday night, and maybe for the rest of the week, you’re going to read and hear a lot of complaints about all this. Most of it will come from the people out to source all of the NFL’s issues to quality of play, which is specious for a lot of reasons.
On some level, though, they’re not wrong. Should that many kickers miss so consistently from 33 yards? Maybe not. It’s not 19 yards anymore, though. The play matters, and outliers exist, and really, nobody should be all that concerned about the league-wide state of special-teams consistency.
This is for one reason: Chaos. Chaos, as a viewer, is all you can truly hope for. Chaos means fun, and nothing causes more than a missed kick that everyone, erroneously, continues to take as a given. It affects strategy on both sides for the rest of the game. It breeds uncertainty. It is good.
So, keep complaining about everything else; there’s plenty to hate. A little extra in-game drama, no matter where it comes from, is not on the list.