Players

Kicking

Kicking is a hugely underrated part of the game in the mind of the average fan. It can take two forms in football. Field goals or punts.

Punts

punter

When the offense finds themselves in fourth down and in a field position where turning over the ball on downs would be hugely beneficial to the other team, they will probably chose to punt the ball.

Having the ability to punt the ball puts the opposing team in worse field positioning. This is critical. Many coaches have a "game of inches" mentality, keeping in mind how good field position helps greatly in producing scores.

Field goals

Touchdowns are usually worth 7 points. Field goals are worth 3. Comparatively speaking, it seems like they are much less valuable. However, so many things have to happen for a single touchdown.

Many drives start on the about 20-yard line, meaning the offense must advance 80 yards or so for a touchdown. A lot must go right to move a ball 80 yards past 11 men trying to stop you from doing it. However many kickers can make field goals from within 40 yards of the goal posts. Moving the ball 40 yards is a lot more manageable.

The average score for an NFL game in recent years has stayed around 20 points. A single field goal can end up being a large percentage of the points you need to win the game.