Alex Henery couldn't help himself. On Wednesday evening, Henery wanted to see if he was selected to the Pro Bowl thinking there was an "outside" chance at the honor.
Certainly made sense as the second-year kicker has over 100 points again after setting the franchise rookie record with 118 points in 2011. He has followed up a season where he set the NFL all-time mark for field goal percentage by a rookie with a franchise-best single-season rate of 90.0 percent (27-of-30) heading into the final week of the season. Earlier this season, Henery had the league's longest consecutive field goals streak with 22 straight successful attempts. In fact, he went exactly three months without missing a kick.
Henery did not make it as Vikings kicker Blair Walsh got the nod for the NFC. Walsh has connected on 91.4 percent of his attempts (32-of-35) including a staggering 9-of-9 from 50 yards or more.
"I'm not disappointed," Henery said on Thursday. "I thought I had a pretty good year and ready to go into it next year and start another run."
Henery has only attempted one kick from 50 yards or more, a 58-yard attempt before halftime against Tampa Bay. Henery actually hit it from 53 yards, but the Eagles were called for a false start penalty on the play. The second attempt had plenty of leg, but went wide left.
"There's nothing you can do about any of that," said Henery, a fourth-round pick in 2011. "You take the next kick and go with it."
Special teams coordinator Bobby April thought that Henery deserved consideration for the Pro Bowl, but the lack of a signature kick didn't help the cause.
"Hitting the long ones and hitting the game-winners, it puts you in a category as elite when you do that and when you do it consistently, you really become elite," April said. "Unfortunately for us or for him, he had an opportunity to make a real statement at the end of the half (vs. Tampa Bay) and we had some movement. He hit it. That would have been, probably, his most definitive moment as, well here's a real crunch situation for you. He can hit them. He just hasn't been in position. He hasn't had that many long misses and he doesn't have any misses to seal the deal. He just hasn't had the opportunity, so I think that's kind of kept him out of there."
Henery felt he has improved the most in his kickoffs from his rookie campaign. While Henery actually had more touchbacks last season (32 to 26), he is notching them at a more frequent rate this year (39.4 percent to 38.1 percent).
"I feel like I've been consistent field-goal wise," he said. "I'm happy with how I hit the ball."
It should be noted that as Henery looks to set the franchise record for best field goal percentage for a second-straight season, he has never missed against an NFC East rival. Cue this week's opponent, the New York Giants. Another record-setting year should at least get Henery in the conversation of best kickers heading into 2013.
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