I know, I know.
The mere fact that I’m writing this article with that headline means I have put the curse on Chris Boswell and he’s doomed to miss every kick the rest of the season. For that, I am sorry.
But it’s hard not to discuss the job he’s done this year and honestly, we haven’t talked about it enough. Through six games of the season, more than enough of a sample size to gauge things, Boswell is a perfect 23/23 on all his kicks. 11/11 on field goals, 12/12 on extra points.
Put that in context. Here’s where he was six games into the disaster that was 2018.
Field Goals (Through Six Games)
2018: 5/8 (62.5%)
2019: 11/11 (100%)
Extra Points (Through Six Games)
2018: 16/19 (84.2%)
2019: 12/12 (100%)
Total Kicks (Through Six Games)
2018: 21/27 (77.8%)
2019: 23/23 (100%)
Big, big difference.
He’s just one of four kickers this season not to miss an attempt, joining Jacksonville’s Josh Lambo, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker (duh), and Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott.
Consider where he was a year ago. He was a mess, it felt like a coin flip on every kick, and the Steelers came about as close to cutting him as possible before he saved his job with a good week in practice and slight resurgence at the end of the year before a groin injury landed him on injured reserve.
It’s still unknown if Boswell was dealing with that groin issue or some other injury all season long or if it truly did flair up at the very end of 2018. The former would make sense considering his success today. Regardless, it was a trying time. The Internet displayed the worst of itself with death threats and mentally, he was understandably rattled. No football player is going to play well in a bad mental state but it’s magnified by kickers. The only position more mental than specialists are quarterbacks.
Kickers are unpredictable, there’s still ten weeks to go, and Boswell isn’t going to end the season perfect. The last kicker to finish the season 100% with at least 15 field goal attempts was Mike Vanderjact 16 years ago. But we’ve exited the hold your breath phase and are seeing the original Chris Boswell. Confident that he’ll make the next kick. Props to him for remaining tough and turning things around.