While the Pittsburgh Steelers are off licking their wounds following an ugly loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at home, one can’t help but wonder where Chris Boswell will be off to this week after he missed yet another field goal, and added a missed extra point as well. The 2017 Pro Bowler is 0-for-2 on the season now.
Boswell, entering his fourth season, made 85 of his first 95 field goal attempts during his first three seasons. With that mark, he was on pace to enter the list of all-time field goal percentage second with a 90-percent mark if he were able to connect on his first five attempts of the season.
Instead, by missing his first two attempts, he can only at best reach an 88 percent mark through his first 100 attempts, which would place him (at least currently) third-best all-time behind the Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker and current free agent Dan Bailey, who may get a job soon after today’s misses around the league.
“We’re not playing well in the kicking game”, Head Coach Mike Tomlin stated bluntly after the loss. It’s not as though there is anything else for him to say on the subject. While it’s true that Boswell’s two misses on the season came from 42 yards in the rain and then from 49 yards, you still expect your kicker to make it, especially one with a three-year resume that Boswell has.
He set Steelers franchise records in made field goals and total points scored in a single season a year ago. He made four game-winning field goals last season in four tries. He also was successful on all four of his attempt from 50 yards or beyond.
That is why he went to the Pro Bowl, and why the Steelers signed him to a four-year, $16.8 million extension, which averages $4.2 million in new money per season, among the highest contracts ever given to a kicker in NFL history.
After he missed the field goal last week, it was reported that he worked by himself in a darkened indoor field, kicking from the same spot that he missed over and over again. He declined to talk to reporters in the early portions of the week.
Prior to this point in his career, Boswell had a reputation of being unflappable, and even I have written about it multiple times as a key ingredient in his success. Is he showing signs of mental strain now, and should it be something that we start worrying about?
Only time will tell. The Steelers are certainly not about to release him, as should go without saying, but he obviously needs to get a handful of successful makes under his belt over the course of the next few games.