What a season it has been thus-far, unless you’re a kicker that is. 8 missed extra points through just 2 weeks, as well as 22 missed FG attempts have been the big story of this NFL season. The Browns have now lost 1 and tied 1 when in all reality they should be 2-0 on the year. Another tie took place this week, and was brought about by multiple missed field goals for the Vikings. Both teams have taken action to improve their kicking game, but the question still remains; What is going on with Kickers in the NFL this season?
To be quite honest, I have no clue. This is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the league and I don’t know what to attribute it to, but it is going on throughout the whole NFL. It has cost multiple teams a game (or in the Browns case two) in only the first few weeks. Also, the Browns have decided to part ways with WR Josh Gordon after he injured his hamstring at a promotional shoot Friday night. The Patriots ended up with the troubled receiver after the Browns announced that he would be traded. This comes with a 5th round pick for the Browns, and removes a BIG target for Tyrod Taylor to use as a vertical threat.
The last thing that I want to cover in this is the QB play coming from some surprising names. The first of these is Ryan Fitzpatrick coming from Tampa Bay. Fitz is filling in for the suspended Jameis Winston and has been undoubtedly the best QB in the NFL through 2 games. Back-to-back 400 yard and 4 TD games, as well as an average QBR of 150. This is the best we’ve ever seen Fitz play, and maybe the best 2 game stretch ever by a QB.
Another QB who has impressed me is Blake Bortles. Bortles has a reputation as someone who won’t win you games, but he can for sure lose them. This was not the case against a very good New England team this past Sunday. Though Bortles looked awful in week 1 vs the Giants, he was fantastic against the Patriots in a rematch of the AFC Championship game. He was dropping absolute dimes, perfectly placed for his receivers. In this game he threw for 377 yards and 4 TDs, something that Bortles hasn’t done since his days at UCF.
The year has been a pleasant surprise in my opinion, with most games ending within 1 score. Also, the dynamic of poor kickers will lead teams to start going for 2 and/or trying for 4th down conversions. I’m interested to see how teams will attempt to fix this issue, and if it will be a nagging problem for teams that may otherwise be contenders.