The Pittsburgh Steelers had a bit of an emergency situation with their kicker position after second-year placekicker Chris Boswell suffered an abdominal injury on Saturday. The front office acted quickly to sign Randy Bullock to the 53-man roster, who, coincidentally, was the kicker that the New York Giants signed to act as their kicker in the season opener while their kicker was suspended.
Fortunately for the Steelers, the kicking units did not really miss a beat with Bullock in the lineup, although there is certainly no reason to suspect that Boswell’s job is in any kind of jeopardy. In fact, it seemed to be a game-time decision as to whether or not he would actually play, which should be a good sign for next week.
But Bullock was the kicker of record on the day, and he did what was asked of him. In fact, he hit on three field goals, including a firs field goal from 44 yards out. At that time, it was a 2-0 game on a day that was starting to look as though it might be a long day for the offense.
He tacked on a 34-yard field goal in the second quarter that gave the Steelers at the time a 14-0 lead, and he also capped off their scoring late in the fourth quarter by giving Pittsburgh a 24-7 margin. The Giants were able to come back to get a touchdown, but because of the field goal, it was still a two-possession game that put the result out of reach, even if they were able to recover an onside kick.
Bullock also kicked off six times over the course of the game, and was able to register three touchbacks. One of the kickoffs that were returned only managed to reach the 16-yard line on an 18-yard return that was taken two yards deep into the end zone. The opening kickoff, however, was returned to the 29-yard line on a short kick. His final kickoff, in addition, was kicked short to force the Giants to return it, fielded at the 10-yard line, but it was returned 38 yards to the 48-yard line, and New York was able to get their second and final touchdown as a result.
Neither of those returns, however, were really much on Bullock, and the fact that he was able to register three touchbacks at least should be noted. Considering that he is basically a one-game rental—or, at least, the hope is that it is only for one game—they got all that they could have hoped for out of him and more, including 10 points.
Bullock is in his fifth season, but he has been released three times. He spent his first two years with the Texans, but was released three games into his third season. He spent eight games with the Jets last year, and, as mentioned, one game with the Giants earlier this year. He did not attempt a field goal for them.