Ken Whisenhunt flashed a knowing smile, because he understood. The question was if there was a part of him — even a small part — that can be a little more calm in these days of near-automatic field goal kickers because he has a special teams unit that is arguably the best in the league in coming up with blocks. For instance, Sunday in Foxborough as the Patriots lined up for their potential game-winner.
“It doesn’t make you feel any better,” Whisenhunt said. “Especially (Sunday), with feeling like we had the game in hand and won it and the way it came down, it tears at you to think that they could have won that game with a kick.
“But, in the back of your mind you do know that you have a chance to block it, and that gives you some small comfort. I have no doubt that contributed, I hope, I think, it contributed to the miss, because they at least had to think about that.”
Whiz called the number of blocked kicks the Cards have had the last few years “staggering.” The Cards have 15 total since 2008, with 13 of them blocked field goals. You think about the games in which a block has turned a probable loss into a win — last year against the Rams, for instance, or the opener against the Seahawks (pictured below) — and you realize what an important part of the game it’s become.
The Cardinals, from Whisenhunt on down, believe that even though Stephen Gostkowski had nailed four field goals already Sunday, the potential block loomed in his head on his final wide-left miss. The late important kicks may not get any easier for Whisenhunt, but maybe they aren’t that easy for the opposition either.
“We thought, ‘That last kick, we’ve been here before, we’ve blocked it before. We know it’s possible, let’s do it again,’ ” kick-blocker extraordinaire Calais Campbell said. “Good thing he shanked it. We didn’t have to do anything spectacular.”
Tags: Calais Campbell, Ken Whisenhunt, special teams
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