The Pittsburgh Steelers, on another day, might be kicking themselves right now for their truly awful performance not just inside the red zone, but inside the Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-yard line. But instead, they are celebrating yet another AFC Conference Championship berth thanks to the kicking leg of second-year placekicker Chris Boswell, who in four postseason games has not yet missed.
In doing so, Boswell put himself in the argument to be added to the rollcall of the Killer Bs, because he set an NFL postseason record with six field goals, all six of which were necessary to secure the Steelers’ 18-16 victory, as they failed to score a single touchdown, despite having great success between the 20s.
It wasn’t even the first time this season, in fact, that Boswell was called upon the net a double trifecta. He made six field goals in Week 15 against the Bengals in a victory that allowed the Steelers to clinch the division the following week.
Last year, during his first season, Boswell was successful on all four of his field-goal attempts in the Wildcard victory over the Bengals. He followed that up with three more field goals against the Broncos in the Divisional Round—but they would have needed another three field goals to win that one.
Including the 1-for-1 performance from the mid-season signing from a year ago in this year’s Wildcard Round, Boswell is now 14 for 14 in the postseason in four games. That is an excellent ratio, of course, but the Steelers would obviously like to see him attempt fewer field goals during their final two games of the 2016 season.
He was not needed much last week, as Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell combined for four offensive touchdowns. He did, however, miss an extra-point attempt following one of those touchdowns, so his postseason slate is actually not 100 percent clean.
He does now own not only the Steelers’, but the league’s, postseason record for the most field goals made in a playoff game in NFL history. He had already shared the team record with four field goals, which he set in his first postseason game, but by bettering that by two tonight, he surpassed multiple kickers who have made five in a postseason game—including Brandon McManus, who did it against the Steelers in the Divisional Round last year.
The one blemish on the day for Boswell—or really, for the special teams coverage units—was their opening kickoff, which was a squib kick that only reached the 20-yard line before being capably fielded and returned 25 yards to the 45-yard line. That set up an opening-drive score that would be the Chiefs’ only points until late in the third.
Tonight, however, it is a time of celebration, both individually and collectively. Boswell individually turned in the sort of performance that a kicker dreams of, including hitting three from beyond 40 yards. As a team, they are on to the game-before-the-game, for the first time since the 2010 season. And the last three times they were here, they got to “the game”.