After kicking six field goals and making a touchdown-saving tackle in the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15 over the Cincinnati Bengals, kicker Chris Boswell received a game-ball from head coach Mike Tomlin in the locker room after that contest was over. Unfortunately for him, the former undrafted free agent out of Rice followed that stellar performance up with a clunker of sorts Sunday night in the win over the Baltimore Ravens.
While Boswell made all of his kicks against the Ravens, two of his kickoffs went out of bounds and resulted in the Baltimore offense starting at their own 40-yard-line. During his Tuesday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked if those two poor kickoffs were a result of Boswell attempting line-drives.
“I dont know what Boz [Boswell] was trying to do,” Tomlin said. “I’ve made a conscience decision to stay away from Boz. I haven’t seen Boz since that second one went out of bounds. Maybe I’ll see him tomorrow morning.”
Consider Tomlin’s message sent. In short, while probably very unhappy with those two kicks, it’s way down his list of worries entering week 17. Besides, that’s something for special teams coordinator Danny Smith to worry about initially.
Boswell’s first errant kick came on the games opening kickoff and while the Ravens did not score on their first possession, they were able to pin the Steelers offense deep in their own end of the field via a punt thanks to the great field position that was provided to them.
Boswell again kicked off out of bounds with 11:41 left in the fourth quarter with the Steelers trailing 20-17. Once again, however, the Steelers defense bailed the young kicker out as they forced the Ravens to punt after three plays. With that noted, the Steelers ensuing possession once again started deep in their own end of the field thanks to the great starting field position provided to the Ravens by Boswell.
Boswell has been solid this season and his two poor kickoffs against the Ravens fortunately didn’t result in any points. However, he’ll definitely need to clean that portion of his kicking duties up moving forward into the playoffs.