NFL kickers hit new low during historically bad week

Pictured left, Bengals kicker Evan McPherson and Seahawks' player Jason Myers on the right.

Often-maligned NFL place-kickers have arguably the most thankless task in all of professional sports, but they’ve never done it tougher than during Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season.

With the Monday Night Football clash between the Colts and Ravens still to come, this weekend’s slate of games has already proven to be an historically bad one for the kicking fraternity.

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Starting with Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers pulling a 35-yarder wide left against Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night, kickers across the league have already combined to miss a total of 24 kicks during Week 5.

There have been 12 missed extra points and 12 missed field goals, tying the record for the total number of missed kicks in a single week.

Unsurprisingly, the response of NFL fans on social media was rather unsympathetic.

Week 1 of the 2020 season also saw 24 missed kicks, with 19 field goal attempts and five extra points failing to hit the target. Many blamed that anomaly on there being no pre-season games due to the COVID-affected build-up to the season, but that’s no an excuse that can be rolled out this time.

The 12 missed extra points is also the equal-most in NFL history. The last time that happened was during Week 11 of the 2016 season, a year after the NFL moved the line of scrimmage for extra point attempts back from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line, making for a lower percentage kick.

Kickers hit ugly low in NFL

While 15 different players have missed kicks so far during Week 5, the epidemic of failing to split the uprights hit its absolute low point during the Green Bay Packers’ thrilling 25-22 overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Packers kicker Mason Crosby and his Bengals counterpart Evan McPherson combined to miss five field goal attempts during the last 3 minutes and overtime of their clash, with four of them being potential game-winners.

Nothing epitomised the kicking woes more than McPherson enthusiastically celebrating what he thought was a made 49-yard game-winner, only to later realise the kick had drifted wide left.

Crosby eventually overcame his case of the yips, making a 49-yard shot of his own with 1:55 left in overtime to win the game for the Packers.

Despite Crosby’s redemption, a miss from either Ravens kicker Justin Tucker or Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship during Monday night’s game will give the crop of current NFL kickers the indignity of owning the NFL record for most missed kicks in a single week. Watch this space.

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