Odds Not In Henery’s Favor

Alex Henery

The wind gusted right as Chip Kelly and special teams coach Dave Fipp got together to make their decision.

Matt Barkley had just been dropped for a five-yard sack and the Eagles were facing a 4th-and-10 from the Giants’ 32. The options were to trot Alex Henery out for a 50-yard field goal attempt into a wind that was showing off its strength, or put the ball in the hands of a rookie quarterback in fourth-and-long.




"I made it in pregame," said Henery. "But it's just like the kickoffs -- you're kicking that way, you can kick it five deep or you can hit a wind gust and it be on the 15, so it's just one of those things, either you're going to make the field goal or you're giving them the ball right there."

Kelly elected to go for it. Barkley mishandled the snap, scooped it off the ground and threw wildly in the direction of Jason Avant over the middle. Incomplete. A 12-play drive and nothing to show for it.

"That was a tough wind. That’s why we went for it on fourth down down there," said Kelly. "Whenever we get close, Fipp’s right near me and I’ll ask him, and he’s like ‘We need to get a little bit closer in that situation.’"

"It's just one of those things where you kind of have to play the odds of whether the wind's going to [cooperate]," added Henery.

The odds of Henery connecting on a long field goal this season are well below the league average.

Peter King took a look at the success rate for kickers across the league through eight weeks. He found that there is a conversion rate of 82.4 percent on tries from 40-49 yards (126 of 153). Kickers are hitting on 66.2 percent of their attempts from beyond 50 yards.

"Kicking field goals has just become too easy," King wrote.

Henery, meanwhile, is 4-of-7  on kicks between 40-49 yards for a success rate of 57 percent. He has only one attempt from beyond 50 yards -- the confounding 60-yard attempt last week against the Cowboys that was no good.

Three of Henery's four misses this season have come at home. He has connected on 62.5 percent of his tries at the Linc compared to 90 percent on the road. Two of those misses came in big moments against the Chargers and Chiefs, respectively.

In this spot, Kelly and Fipp opted to keep him on the sideline.

"I go out there when they tell me to," said Henery.

 

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  • theycallmerob

    Never understood this pick in the 4th rd. And never will.
    On the + side, it’s one spot we can almost certainly upgrade this offseason. Donnie Jones and Crazy Eyes Fipp aside, it is frustrating how bad the STs are this year after all the players who were kept on the 53 from camp for that very reason.

    At least 2 drafts away.

    • JofreyRice

      You think only 2 drafts away if the guy making the picks is also the one that took a 4th round kicker who’s range is the opponents 25 yard line?

      • theycallmerob

        I do. Mostly because I’m of the belief that Howie never had full control of personnel decisions, particularly with regard to the draft. That is what an entire scouting department is for, in addition to the coaching input.

        Just as with Reid, I think Kelly will have a tremendous amount of say in the matter going forward. And I imagine Gamble plays the most significant role of all.

        I’m aware of your feelings towards Howie. I don’t offer that as a defense for him, but rather what I see as a more holistic view of the process. I don’t think it is so black and white in terms of blame.

        • Andy124

          Careful, Maggie is going to fall in love with you.

        • JofreyRice

          Fair enough. Your view would be better for the birds.

          • theycallmerob

            As Richard said, the only alternative is that Lurie is too enamored/stupid to fire Howie. I just don’t see it. Wouldn’t you think Chip would have pulled him aside by now?
            “Hey, Jeff, listen….we gotta talk about your boy Howie…”

          • Richard Colton

            Unless Howie was the missing man in the Lurie/Christina/Joe Banner triangle.

            a conspiracy so immense…

          • EaglePete

            Howie must go. Too soon for CK to know any better. Wait a few more seasons to find out if these past few drafts were any good and your now 5 yrs plus into Howie drafts and doomed even further. Get rid of him….now…..just my expert GM analysis opinion.

        • Richard Colton

          I’m willing to accept that answer, only because the alternative is that we have a confederation of dunces running the team. Don’t think I can handle that.

          I know CW says you need three years to grade a draft, and Howie just finished his second. Shouldn’t we be seeing something though? Or will we be going into draft 3 & 4 using “scheme change” to explain away all the blah picks on the defensive side of the ball?

          • theycallmerob

            If you’re looking at last year’s draft, I think scheme has had a big impact. Curry as a 43 end? monster. And Kendricks may or may not play up to his “potential”, but I think he has been looking more comfortable in the defense recently as well. Cox and Boykin have been fine, in both schemes. Would you not say that we’re “seeing something”?

          • Andy124

            I like Kendricks better as a 3-4 ILB.

          • Richard Colton

            Yeah. Boykin a good slot corner. Like Jeff said, 4th round is where you should get those guys. Curry looks decent – he was a 2nd round pick. Kendricks looks, well, yeah “comfortable.” The 2 first round picks are both solid doubles for Howie at this point. He didn’t screw them up.

            I guess my point is – where are the surprises? The player that was better than where he was drafted at? The Trent Cole or Jason Kelce or Brian Westbrook? If this team is going to succeed, don’t we need a few of those?

          • Andy124

            Wolff could be one. Logan has flashed at times. Bryce could still turn in to one if you’re not writing him off yet.

          • theycallmerob

            Boy, I could not agree with you more. That’s what’s been killing me. Even the bad GMs seemed to get lucky once in awhile. I mean, the year Manning gets hurt and the Colts play like poo, they get Luck? #%@!
            Maybe Wolff is that guy for us this year?

            And of course, I’m always holding out hope for….KRUEGER!

          • Richard Colton

            Krueger turns into a player like his brother (unlikely considering the Philly curse of the Other Brother) and Wolff becomes a stud, then yeah. long way to go before that happens.

          • theycallmerob

            long way to go before that happens.

            uh…so wouldn’t judging Howie on this draft (and to some extent, last years’) be just as ridiculous as those calling for Chip’s head right now?
            Good lord, we’re the most impatient society ever.

          • Richard Colton

            I should have been more specific – I meant with Kruegar. Only 21, doesn’t have an NFL body. He might be more than one year away from playing. Be tough to stash him on IR a second year though.

          • theycallmerob

            But by next year, he’ll be no average 22 yr old. A year’s worth of Huls’ workouts and smoothies?

            If we ever do go back to kelly green unis, I expect his nickname to be “hulk”

    • Andy124

      We just need the first 10 picks in this year’s draft and we’ll be on the right track…

      Is that so much to ask?

      • theycallmerob

        WhatWouldJerrahDo ?

        • Andy124

          Trade them all for some magic beans and a FG holder?

    • UKEagle99

      2 successful drafts. Find a penny pick it up, don’t walk under a ladder, fingers crossed, don’t open umbrellas in the Linc, hope the Draft isn’t on Friday the 13th, knock on wood and drink Bud type successful.

  • 1972

    I don’t want to spend too much time on a kicker, but he misses in big games, those percentages are terrible… that’s enough for me to get rid of him. He’s scared s*itless at home. goodbye henry.

    • anon

      that logic gotta get rid of the whole team.

      • 1972

        nah, I don’t think all of the players are scared. I just think they’re not talented enough. henry has a strong leg, but the kid is spooked on big kicks.

        • evanphilly

          has he had a big kick this year?

          • 1972

            read the article or better yet watch the games. Not being a smart ass, im just saying. chiefs chargers broncos. and yes im aware the broncos was a 60 yarder but he had the leg, just missed it

          • evanphilly

            so what it sounds like, just like the rest of the team, is that he is terrible when he plays at the Linc but fine away from the ‘friendly confines’.

          • 1972

            nah he sucks every where.. 4th rounder SMH

  • Basscase

    Whatever good stuff this team could get from Henery, Kelly has blown it to bits. Even if you think your kicker sucks, you put him in the best position to win. Otherwise, people will start to look at you like you don’t have a plan.

    Ignoring the 4th round pick (thanks Roseman), kickers are funny people. You can’t tell him “I don’t think you can make a 54 yarder in thin air, but I think you can make a 60 yarder at home, but then again I don’t think you can make a 50 yarder in the same place one week later”.

    Throw in the laughable touchbacks at times, and it’s time for some kicker auditions.

    • Richard Colton

      What’s a Norwegian have to do to get an audition?

      • UKEagle99

        Catch a plane or sail a longboat….

    • Broadcasting Wisdom

      Did you not read the article? Have you ever tried kicking into even a 20mph win (or watched a football that has?) It’s not like you can spiral it through the air. So yes, it’s perfectly reasonable that a 60 yarder with the wind was within his range but the next week a 50 yarder against a stiff wind was outside of his range. I think Chip made several awful decisions (for instance, the play before on 3rd and 4 you’ve gotta take a sack off the table) but going for it there was not one of them.

      • Basscase

        Josh Brown kicked one from 5 yards closer on that same side of the field, with the same wind. Could Henery have not kicked it from there?

        But it’s not “this week” that has me concered – it’s a pattern of instability with regards to when and where he chooses to kick. Punting in Denver instead of going for the FG (or even going for it) was the first red flag, IMO.

        • anon

          Did you watch the KC or Chargers games? He missed a bunch of kicks at home from under 50yds. If they think he can make 60 w/ the wind (apparently he’d hit it pre game) go for it. If they don’t think he can make it from 50 against the win then don’t go for it. You’re just as bad off if he misses the FG. Probably should have just punted though.

          • Basscase

            I don’t disagree with punting, especially with the way the defense was going. And it’s a given that Henery is a complete ? on anything above 40 (and in some cases, below that as well).
            My point is 1) the strategies have been questionable, and if it’s coming from not having much confidence in your kicker, then 2) it’s time to bring someone else in to do it. Henery’s history from outside the 40 is really embarrassing for an NFL kicker.

        • UKEagle99

          “Josh Brown kicked one from 5 yards closer on that same side of the field, with the same wind. Could Henery have not kicked it from there?”

          Last time I looked you can’t just move the ball 5 yards closer because the other team made one from there. Give Goodell a year or two though….

      • UKEagle99

        I agree, kicking is like golf. How many caddies hand over the putter and mutter “you won’t make that”. Yes, I did rhyme my point.

  • #7

    Lol

    • Andy124

      totally

    • Andy124

      No seriously. Was this supposed to be a reply to another post?

  • evanphilly

    If you don’t trust the Kicker to make a 50 yarder, might as well get rid of him now and find someone else. Stop wasting our time.

    • cliff henny

      literally find a kicker on the street.

      • Andy124

        The streets of Norway.

        • UKEagle99

          Yup, but you’d need a swirling wind and moving goalposts to make him get out of bed.

  • Theconomist

    Why not even mention the option to punt?

  • Soybot

    I’d be curious as to what the overall percentage for all Kickers at the Linc has been. I’d guess well below league average on 40+, just based on my memory. I can’t remember but one or two successful 50+ kicks in that stadium. The wind can be very tricky in that building.

  • southy

    it’s true. they need to do defenses a solid narrow the goalposts a tad.