Kickers are unpredictable, making Chris Boswell’s 2019 campaign a total dart throw. Would the Steelers get the Boz of old, the top tier kicker who rightfully earned a contract extension? Or would they get the disaster that followed his new deal, almost leading to him getting cut in 2018.
Six weeks in, it’s clear the answer is the former. Danny Smith chalks up the turnaround to greater attention to detail.
“He is detailing his work,” Smith told Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley. “You have to detail at that position, like any other position. When you lose some of those details, which might have happened in the past with an off year, we are going to come back together and put attention on the detail and it’s really showing in his production.”
Boswell remains one of just four kickers in football not to miss an attempt, field goal or extra point, this season. In total, he’s a perfect 23/23.
Performing well though shouldn’t come as a shock. In an offseason study, we pointed to numerous examples of kickers who did return to glory and on average, found those who had terrible seasons had their field goal percentage increase by more than 15 points the following year.
The kicking and punting game as a whole have been a strength of the Steelers’ special teams this season. Jordan Berry is having an excellent start to the year, though the true test of a good punter (or kicker, for that matter), is what happens when the weather turns cold and windy.
Smith praised the job Berry did against the Los Angeles Chargers, framing the matchup as him vs “the returner,” Dez King, who had a 73 yard touchdown against the Steelers a year ago. This year, King was held to one return for seven yards, Berry recorded a 59 yard net, and downed LA at the one for his final punt, leading to the game-clinching interception.
Pittsburgh will need similar success from both men going forward.