Much like Brandon Fields, Carpenter didn’t have the same year he had in 2009 when he went to the Pro-Bowl. It was statistically better.
Carpenter made 30 of 41 attempts which put him ranked 4th in the league. He was 13th in 2009 when he made 25 of 28. He also added a career long 60 yarder in a loss to Cleveland. Carpenter was money from inside the 40 where he was perfect, outside, he missed 7 FG’s from 40-49 and two from over 50. The real story however was the two blocked field goals that seemed to put an exclamation point on the early to mid-season woes surrounding the special teams.
But the real chatter was how the fans took to Carpenter.Dan Carpenter only kicked 25 extra points all season. Which is obviously due to an ineffective offense. Fans across the country through message boards and water cooler talk called the Dolphins entry into the opposing teams “red zone” the “Carp Zone”. The Dolphins actually played several games and several drives for what appeared to be field goals from the start of those drives.
Fans also took exception to the Tony Sparano “fist pump” that was so prevalent after each one of Carpenter’s 3 points. It became a rolling joke from message board to message board and eventually became a national news punchline. So much so that when Brian Daboll was hired as the OC, a “double fist pump” video of him was cleverly edited to show only the “extra point” to look like a FG. It’s not likely to go away next season.
That of course is not Dan Carpenters’ fault who is becoming one of the most reliable place kickers in the NFL. While statistically he was better in 2010, he was more accurate in 2009. He was a money fantasy football lock most of both seasons.
2011 should be more of the same but with a more potent offense or at least a marginally better offense, Carpenter should see more opportunities inside the 40 instead of outside.
The one area that Carpenter will need to work on is his kick-offs. Last year he kicked-off 70 times with only 14 being taken for touchbacks. 3 went out of bounds. I won’t put too much stock in the yards that he gave up, an average of 24.6 since that can be directly blamed on the coverage teams who were widely ineffective most of the season.