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Icing the kicker may not hurt the kicker, but it can help the defense

Giants defensive end Pierre-Paul reacts after blocking the field goal attempt by Cowboys kicker Bailey in Arlington, Texas

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (C) reacts after blocking the field goal attempt by Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey (5) in the second half of their NFL football game in Arlington, Texas December 11, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)


There’s a belief, supposedly supported by statistics, that calling a time out to ice the kicker doesn’t really hurt the kicker, and thus doesn’t help the effort.

But it can nevertheless have a very specific benefit to the defense.

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul explained during Monday’s PFT Live that the meaningless kick coming after coach Tom Coughlin called a last-second time out helped Pierre-Paul adjust his approach to the ball on the next try, changing the path from over the guard to over the center.

And on the next try, Pierre-Paul blocked the kick.

So, basically, icing the kicker with a late time out will now be in vogue again. At least until a kicker misses the kick that is wiped off the board by a time out and makes the next one.