2016 South Side Questions: Are Boswell’s Misses Anything To Be Concerned About?

The regular season is here, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking their practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the real work is now upon us, there is plenty left to be done.

And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they wade through a regular season in which they are, at least supposed to be, among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.

Question: Is Chris Boswell’s two missed field goals anything to be concerned about?

On Sunday, in the midst of an 11-point loss, Steelers second-year kicker connected on three field goals, but he also missed two, the first from 42 yards out, though the second kick was from 54 yards out. In Steelers history, there have been only 28 made field goals from 50 yards out or further, and Boswell does have two of them. The longest field goal in team history is 55 yards.

Boswell had an excellent rookie season, making 29 of 32 field goal attempts in 12 regular season games for a 90.6 percent rating, and then he proceeded to make seven field goals over the course of Pittsburgh’s two postseason games.

Through seven games this season, Boswell has made only seven of 10 field goal attempts, but that stat line, of course, comes with some caveats, noting of course that one was from 54 yards, and both misses from the previous game were beyond 40 yards. The other miss was a blocked field goal attempt.

It is worth noting that six of his seven makes have all fallen between 40 and 49 yards, and four of them have come from at least 46 yards out. He is six-of-seven this year from between those two distances.

The reality is that the Steelers haven’t really used Boswell all that much this year, because when the offense is doing well, they are scoring touchdowns. When they are struggling, they are hardly scoring at all.

His five field goal attempts against the Patriots make up exactly half of his seven-game attempts total, and he has had only one other game in which he attempted more than one field goal, against the Eagles, in which he had one blocked.

On a different note, Boswell has demonstrably improved his kickoffs. He recorded a touchback on barely a third of his kickoffs last year, but thus far, he has recorded a touchback over 70 percent of the time. The nine kicks that have been returned have only yielded an average return of 20.9 yards.

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