Coming off a Pro Bowl season that was remarkable in many ways, the honorary Killer B Chris Boswell finds himself 0-for-1 on the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, which proved to be the difference between them coming home with a victory and scraping by with a tie.
Boswell, now in his fourth NFL season, was given four opportunities over the course of the 2017 regular season to attempt field goals that would give the Steelers the lead with under a minute to play. Three of those opportunities came with time expiring. He connected on all four of them.
But when he was given a similar chance in overtime earlier today, he pulled the ball just wide of the left upright. That was his first opportunity to showcase his worth after signing a new four-year, $16.8 million extension prior to the start of the regular season.
That’s not to put all the blame on him. For starters, it was on a sloppy field in an absolutely downpour in Cleveland. The snap from Kameron Canaday was a bit high and inside of holder Jordan Berry’s frame, though the punter seemed to be able to handle it well and get the ball down, laces out.
No kick in the rain from beyond 40 yards is going to be a walk in the park, and it’s no sin to miss a kick once in a while, but these are the types of situations for which you pay a kicker $4 million. It was a difficult but makeable opportunity, on which he came up short.
Not that that worries me. There is no reason to believe that it is a sign of things to come, nor is there any evidence in his history to suggest that he will let the miss get into his head. He still remains one of the best kickers in the NFL, and that won’t change just because he came up short in his first chance to make a difference during the 2018 season.
The thought occurred to me as I watched the hold, however, that it was a good thing Berry was still there and that they didn’t elect to go with Matt Wile as the punter. Every kick is more than just a kick. It’s a process that goes from snap to hold to kick. There are a lot of moving parts, and like a clock, if any mechanism gets knocked out of place, the entire process can be derailed.
I need to see a better view of the hold when GamePass is up, but like I said, it appeared to be clean, with that being said. The miss, at least mechanically, was on Boswell. And had he made it, the Steelers would have won, right then and there. They never should have been in that position in the first place, but it remains true all the same.