We have to give Andy Reid credit. When the decision to “ice” Tennessee Titans kicker Ryan Succop backfired, the Kansas City Cheifs coach didn’t shy away from criticism.
“Listen, it didn’t work,” Reid said, per Jason Wolf of The Tennessean. “I’ve got to do better on that. It backfired.”
Following the game, Succop admitted that the time out helped.
“I kind of went over and tightened up my plant shoe a little bit,” Succop said, per Wolf. “Because I knew I was going to be going at it as hard as I could.”
Icing the kicker is an oft-debated topic.
While the numbers don’t really back it up, there’s some logic in giving the kicker something extra to think about. It’s similar to a golfer who lags a long put to two feet away from the hole. If the golfer doesn’t have time to think about the two-footer, walking up to tap the short putt in seems easy. But if the golfer marks the ball and waits for a few fellow golfers to putt, he has time to think about it and often makes a mistake.
There are a few differences, of course.
One, the kick was not on par with a two-foot putt in golf. It was a 53-yard field goal in freezing temperatures. The odds of a kicker — any kicker — making that field goal are not good.
Two, Reid gave Succop a free run. Coaches seem to believe that it’s best to wait until right before the snap to call the time out. Of course, when that happens, the snap frequently still comes and the kicker kicks the ball, anyway. On a 35-yard kick, that’s not a huge deal. But on a 53-yarder in bad weather? Chances are that the first kick will be unsuccessful. If a kicker can see how a kick was missed, he has a much better chance of making the next, identical kick.
Reid was right to take the heat for this one. Logically, he’s the man deserving of all of the blame.