Missing Field Goals and Extra Points, NFL Kickers Had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Sunday
There were 15 missed kicks in the 14 games that were played on the NFL's opening Sunday
After making the extra point when the Chiefs scored their first touchdown of the afternoon in a 44-21 blowout of the Arizona Cardinals in the desert, Justin Reid missed wide right on the second. That misfire was one of 15 missed kicks from NFL kickers that happened across the 14 games played on September 11. Unlike all of the other players who missed on Sunday, Reid had a good excuse for shanking his kick: he’s a safety, not a placekicker.
Filling in for a temporarily incapacitated Harrison Butker, Reid went for 1-for-2 on his extra-point attempts before Butker was able to return just before halftime and play the rest of the way. “I just got thrown straight into the fire, to be honest with you,” Reid said afterward. “They let me know Butker hurt his ankle and that I was up, and I was like, ‘OK. Let’s ride.’ I knew I was ready for it. Never short of confidence, so I had a lot of fun with it.”
It was a fun day for Reid, but it was an agonizing one for many of the other players who attempted kicks on Sunday as six games were decided by three points or fewer as missed field goals and extra points loomed large.
Among the lowlights on Sunday were the Bengals and Steelers going to overtime after Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson had an extra point blocked as time expired. McPherson traded missed field goals in OT with Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell before the latter drilled his second attempt to give the Steelers a 23-20 overtime win. “We had our chances,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “To lose the turnover battle five to nothing, to have kick operations ruined on two kicks that both would have won the game, is disheartening in that way.”
Elsewhere in the NFL, Tennessee kicker Randy Bullock missed from 47 yards as time expired and the Titans lost to the Giants 21-20, and Indianapolis kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 42-yarder as Colts-Texans ended in a 20-20 tie. Kicking also played a big role in Saints-Falcons as Wil Lutz nailed a go-ahead 51-yarder for New Orleans before Atlanta kicker Younghoe Koo’s 63-yarder as time expired was blocked to give the visitors a 27-26 victory. There were actually 10 made kicks in Browns-Panthers, including Cade York’s 58-yarder to give Cleveland a 26-24 win and ruin Carolina quarterback Baker Mayfield’s revenge tour.
It was an ugly Sunday and with Broncos-Seahawks on Monday Night Football yet to be played, Week 1 could end even uglier for NFL kickers. However, no matter how bad the kicking is tonight, it still won’t be as bad as Week 5 of last season when kickers combined to miss a record 13 extra points and 14 field goals.
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