Typically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.
Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.
Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.
Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?
Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every positions – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.
The series continues with a position that is becoming a deadly weapon in today’s NFL – kicker. Teams that have a good one are practically in scoring territory the moment they cross midfield. While ones that struggle to find a reliable option, struggle in close games and are forced to make questionable decisions in the waning moments.
Let the debate begin!
10. Mason Crosby
After a very rough year in 2012, the Packers kicker bounced back with the best season of his career. In 2013, Crosby connected on a career high 89.2 percent of his field goal attempts, which included going a perfect 21-of-21 on kicks from 39 yards or less. Being virtually automatic on those kinds of attempts makes for a dangerous weapon in the kicking game, as it prevents a team from having good drives go for naught.
9. Adam Vinatieri
It’s cliché, but it’s true: If the future of civilization relied on one field goal being made, there’s no better choice to take the kick than Vinatieri. And at 41 years old, the former Super Bowl hero shows no signs of slowing down. Last season, he led the NFL in field goals made from beyond 40 yards, connecting on 19 long-distance kicks. That helped him total the third most field goals made in the league.