Suffice it to say that Chris Boswell had a strong bounceback season in 2019. After missing seven field goals the year before on just 20 attempts, the Pittsburgh Steelers veteran and former Pro Bowler missed only two attempts of any kind—going perfect on point-after attempts—which was tied for the fewest total misses in the NFL.
Surprisingly, even Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens, who now has a stranglehold on the title of the most accurate kicker in NFL history barring a future collapse, missed three total kicks in 2019, though two were on extra points. In his defense, he did have to kick 59 of them, since the Ravens just scored so damn much. In comparison, Boswell only attempted 28, literally less than half the number.
The only other kicker in the NFL to miss two or fewer total kick attempts was Josh Lambo of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who went 33-of-34 on field goal attempts, winning the ‘crown’ with a league-high field goal percentage of 97.1, but just 19-of-20 on point after attempts. In comparison, Tucker only had to attempt 29 field goals, making 28, since, again, Baltimore capitalized on such a high percentage of its scoring opportunities.
So there you have it. On the season, Boswell went 57-of-59 on all of his kicks combined in 2019. Last year, he made fewer on more attempts, going 56-of-68. That’s a success rate of 82.3 shooting all the way up to 96.6, an increase of over 14 percentage points.
And he was close to losing his job, on multiple occasions. Remember, the Steelers even brought in kickers to compete against him and potentially take his job back in I believe the week leading into Week 16 in 2018. He had to beat out others to retain his spot. Then he had to go through the offseason, agreeing to delay his roster bonus until basically they were sure he was going to make the roster.
He did, though, and the rest is history. That dreadful 2018 season is now water under the bridge. As he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review late last year on teams dealing with a kicker having a bad season, “they’ve got to expect everybody’s going to have one bad game in a season or a career. You’ve just got to ride it out. It just shows the level of organization that we have, and I can’t thank them enough for that”.
They were, of course, self-motivated in their endeavors. They had just given Boswell a long-term contract because they believed he was the long-term answer at the position. The prior season threw that presumption into a tailspin. But after posting his highest field goal completion percentage of his career in 2019, he is back up to 87 percent for his career.
For those wondering, that’s good for seventh-best in NFL history among those with at least 100 field goal attempts. The next three above are within roughly half a percentage point of him. Lambo is third, Tucker first (the only one ever over 90 percent), with Harrison Butker in between, currently at 89.7, tantalizingly close, but with just a three-year resume. Time will well with him. That’s right about where Boswell was through three seasons as well.