Icing the Kicker: Does it work?

October 28, 2011 in Daily Bulletin

The Freakonomics Blog examined a phenomenon in the NFL known as, “icing the kicker.” It is when a coach calls a timeout before the opposing teams kicker is going to attempt a crucial field goal. This is done because the perception is that during the extra time that the kicker has to wait, he will realize the pressure of the situation and it will cause him to forget about his fundamentals when he’s trying to make the kick again. Freakonomics set out to find whether or not it actually worked, and this is what they found:

  • 76% of all field goals are made in the NFL
  • On shorter kicks (kicks of under 50 yards) the accuracy was approximately the same if not a little higher for iced kickers
  • On longer attempts (over 50 yards) kickers actually became more likely to succeed if they were iced

To watch their video about it, you can head here.

Source: Freakonomics