Giants Need Lawrence Tynes Back to Form
Jim Mancari , Contributor
Normally as steady as any player on the field for the Giants, Lawrence Tynes has had a rough month of December – in terms of being a kicker.
Tynes has only made four of his last seven field goals, and his 33-yard miss Sunday in the first quarter against the Falcons set the tone for a long afternoon.
So Tynes is going through a cold stretch, but is it really a cause for concern? He’s still leading the NFL in field goals made (33) and field goals attempted (39).
Even the best kickers usually experience a field goal drought at some point during the season. Kicking is as psychological as it is physical, so once a kicker misses one, each kick can become a mental tug-of-war.
For the beginning part of the season, Tynes was spot on whenever called upon. But it seems that he has hit his cold spell at the worst possible time.
Even if he made the kick against the Falcons, that would have made little difference in the Giants’ 34-0 blowout loss. However, maybe if he makes that kick and the Giants trail 7-3 early, the defense rises up to make a few stops.
Though it’s a stretch to say the two are linked, it again goes back to the mental side of football. Knowing that the offense put at least some points on the board maybe could have driven the defense to get the ball back.
Either way, Tynes has proven in his tenure with the Giants that he can make a big kick. During both Super Bowl runs, it was a Tynes kick that won the NFC Championship Game in overtime.
With a difficult road matchup with Baltimore Ravens upcoming, Tynes will need to return to clutch form if called upon by the Giants. Even though they have locked up a playoff spot, the Ravens have lost three straight games, and the defense hasn’t played particularly well.
If the Ravens’ defense can come up with stops in the red zone, Tynes will have to put points on the board. With Joe Flacco struggling as well, it might be a low scoring game on Sunday.
Tynes has thrived under pressure for the Giants in the past, and now that the pressure is back on, hopefully the Tynes of old shows up on Sunday.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.