I think, or at least I hope, it’s obvious that the Chris Boswell of today is in a better place than the Boz of the first three weeks. What you might not realize is how well Boswell has turned things around over the last three weeks.
Since the Baltimore Ravens game in Week 4, he’s made 11 of 12 field goals. Seven of those were extra points, the other four field goals.
No, none of those kicks were terribly difficult. Field goals of 21, 24, 34, and 39 while the extra points were all obviously from 33 yards out. Far from Justin Tucker range but given his struggles and misses from makeable distances, it’s a big confidence booster for him (and us too).
To be clear, simply making the kicks doesn’t mean all of his problems are solved. There can still be technique issues in his game that could lead to misses, just in the way a skill position player may be technically flawed but still succeeding in the short-term.
But the last three weeks have felt like the Boswell of old, even if we’re holding our breath and glaring at the TV a little more than in past years.
The bye week comes as an excellent reset point for him, too. So much of the kicking game is mental and getting away from it for a couple days, especially taking that break when you’re kicking well, has to help. At the least, it sure can’t hurt.
He and Jordan Berry have taken the right steps forward after their slow starts. Berry has largely been at the top of his game following the mess versus Kansas City. He has at least a 40 yard net in his last for outings, the gold standard Danny Smith says he uses, even if that idea is archaic. Excellent coverage has helped too. Over that same span, the Steelers have allowed just 13 punt return yards. Based on my research, that’s 8th best in the NFL and three of those teams in front (Rams, Bears, Lions) have already had their bye week.
While certain areas of this unit needs work, notably the penalties – they lead the league with 16 – Boswell is rounding back into form.