4. The kicking situation is much more stable than it has been
Kicking has become a bit of an epidemic in the NFL this season. So many different kickers on different teams have missed field goals that they otherwise would have made in big spots. Heck, even Justin Tucker, who has never missed an extra point in his NFL career, missed one against the Saints that would have tied the game with 24 seconds remaining.
The Los Angeles Chargers were ahead of the curve and had their kicking problems last season. The team opted to go with Younghoe Koo instead of Josh Lambo and had five different kickers kick field goals.
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Koo missed a game-winner against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 last season and had a game-tying field goal blocked in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. Overall, the Chargers’ five different kickers put together a 66.7 field goal percentage and 88.1 extra point percentage.
This year has been better with 80 percent of the field goals being made but worse with only 78.9 percent of the extra points being made. With Caleb Sturgis suffering a quadriceps injury, the Chargers have turned to a new kicker and it has actually worked out.
Los Angeles signed Michael Badgley to be the team’s new kicker and has not missed since. The University of Miami product has made all three field goals and all seven extra points he has attempted.
It has not been perfect, though, as Badgley as struggled with kickoffs in getting the ball to the end zone and forcing touchbacks. That is huge with the new kickoff rules in which the kicking team does not get a running start; Four of the Titans’ five kickoff returns last week went past the 30-yard line.
Sturgis is still up for the job with Badgley and the team is going to have to make a choice in the bye week. Either way, the kicking situation is still better than it has been.