Atlanta Falcons Kicker Younghoe Koo Masters Lost Art of the Onside Kick

Koo booted three onside kicks that were recovered by his team

Atlanta Falcons Kicker Masters Lost Art of the Onside Kick
Younghoe Koo of the Atlanta Falcons kicks an onside kick. (Todd Kirkland/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / November 29, 2019 12:16 pm

With the onside kick becoming less prevalent with each passing week in pro football thanks to rule changes, the odds of seeing one completed successfully are very low.

On Thursday night while many of us were stuffed to the gills with turkey, Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo defied the odds and kicked three onside kicks that were recovered by his team.

The first one of those recoveries was undone by a penalty, but Koo was able to deliver another penalty-free kick that was recovered by linebacker Foye Oluokun (the same player who snagged Koo’s first kick).

Following the recovery, the Falcons were able to march down the field and kick a field goal to pull within eight points of the Saints at 26-18 with less than two minutes remaining.

Needing the ball back to have a chance to tie the game, the Falcons went right back to the well.

Koo was able to deliver again, kicking a ball that Oluokun was able to knock off the knee of the Saints’ Michael Thomas, allowing Kemal Ishmael to recover it.

Though the Falcons got the ball back thanks to Koo, they were unable to score and ended up losing to drop their record to 3-9 on the season.

Regardless, what Koo was able to accomplish as, prior to last night, only three out of an attempted 37 onside kicks had been recovered this year in the NFL, a success rate of just 8.1 percent.

So, in effect, Koo did in one night what the entire league had been able to accomplish through 12 weeks of NFL football.

“I was glad to just give us a chance, and the guys did a great job of recovering the onside kicks,” Koo said after the game.

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