Kickers look out of kinds after no exhibition video games

Possibly kickers wanted preseason greater than anybody else.

After a digital offseason and a scarcity of exhibition video games, it was the kickers who appeared most out of kinds on opening weekend within the NFL.

From Randy Bullock‘s missed game-tying subject aim strive for Cincinnati to Austin Seibrt’s missed subject aim and further level for Cleveland to Stephen Gostkowski‘s roller-coaster Monday night time for Tennessee, kickers had their issues final week.

The 19 missed subject targets in all are probably the most on the opening week since kickers missed 20 in 1982. The 71.6% accuracy in Week 1 was the worst within the NFL since 1998, a extreme again monitor from the almost constant enchancment lately for kickers.

There have been even 5 missed further factors, which was tied for probably the most in Week 1 because it was moved again to its present spot on the 15-yard line in 2015.

The most important wrongdoer was Gostkowski, who missed three subject targets and one further level for the Titans earlier than connecting on a 25-yarder with 17 seconds left in a 16-14 win at Denver.

”We have all had our days,” Gostkowski mentioned. ”However the kicking place, you miss a few kicks, the digital camera follows you round, they discuss you the entire time, they watch you. It might probably get to a lonely spot. However it’s a must to preserve your head excessive and carry on going.”

GO FOR IT: Groups had been aggressive in Week 1 about going for it on fourth down. The 40 fourth-down tries had been probably the most within the opening week since a minimum of 1991. Groups transformed solely 16 of the tries, with two of the largest failures coming by Dallas and Carolina.

The Cowboys went for it on fourth-and-Three from the 11 within the fourth quarter when trailing the Rams by three. They could not convert and misplaced 20-17. It was the primary time because the Raiders in 2009 {that a} crew trailing by lower than three factors within the fourth quarter went for it on fourth down with a minimum of yards to go whereas in subject aim vary.

The Panthers had a simple determination once they went for it on fourth-and-1 late within the fourth quarter in opposition to Las Vegas, trailing by 4. The problem was they gave the ball to fullback Alex Armah as a substitute of Christian McCaffrey and obtained stuffed to lose the sport.

Groups went for it 22 instances on fourth down within the first three quarters as coaches have gotten extra aggressive, with Kansas Metropolis’s Andy Reid turning into the primary coach since Jacksonville’s Jack Del Rio to go for it on fourth down in his personal territory within the opening quarter of the season. The Chiefs transformed and scored on the drive.

LATE GAME COLLAPSE: In coach Vic Fangio’s first season in Denver, the Broncos turned the sixth crew since 2000 to lose three video games in a season that they led within the last 30 seconds. They did it once more within the opener by permitting the Titans to drive for Gostkowski’s game-winning kick.

BLOWN LEADS: The Lions have a knack for blowing huge leads in season openers. After squandering an 18-point fourth-quarter lead in a Week 1 tie in opposition to Arizona in 2019, Detroit blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead in a Week 1 loss this yr to the Bears. All different groups are 120-2 when main by a minimum of 17 factors within the fourth quarter of season openers since 2000. The one groups to lose had been the Bears to the Packers in 2018 and the Chargers to the Chiefs in 2016.

PICK 6: Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady threw an interception that was returned for a TD for the third straight recreation within the opener in opposition to New Orleans, having additionally achieved it within the regular-season finale in opposition to Miami and a playoff loss to Tennessee final season. He’s the sixth participant since 1991 to throw a pick-six in three straight video games, becoming a member of Matt Schaub, Peyton Manning, Ty Detmer, Blaine Gabbert and John Elway. The one participant in that span to do it 4 video games in a row was Schaub for Houston in 2013.

MISSING ROOKIES: A casualty of the abbreviated offseason was the destiny of undrafted rookies. With much less follow time and no exhibition video games to show themselves in, rookies who did not get drafted performed solely 462 snaps in Week 1, the fewest within the league since 2009.

OLD AND NEW: A file 4 quarterbacks age 38 or older began the opener, with Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady and Indianapolis’ Philip Rivers getting the nod.

There have been additionally 11 QBs youthful than 25 who began Week 1, the second most to the 13 who did it in 2012.

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