2022 NFL Week 1: Kicker shame rankings

Story posted September 15, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Joseph Callahan Jr

Week 1 of the NFL season came and went, just like many game-winning kick attempts came and went anywhere but between the uprights.

In a week where a starting safety nailed an extra point in a blowout, many kickers were on the wrong side of deciding the victor of games this week.

Let's take a look at each missed game-winning kick and gauge how much the kickers were at fault.

Younghoe Koo - Atlanta Falcons: 1/10

Tell me if you have heard this before. The Atlanta Falcons built a double digit lead, but somehow lost. Some things never change.

Sunday’s game against the rival Saints ended anticlimatically for Falcon fans, with a blocked 64-yard field goal sealing another brutal loss.

Considering that Koo should never have been in that situation, and it was blocked, Koo has little to no fault in the loss.


Evan McPherson - Cincinnati Bengals: 6/10

It’s a fact that the Steelers haven’t finished with a losing record in the Mike Tomlin era. Thanks to mistakes from Joe Burrow and Evan McPherson, they stole one on the road against the defending AFC Champions.

If the Steelers would have driven down and scored a touchdown in their first drive of overtime, McPherson would have gotten the same grade as Koo, as his game-winning extra point attempt to end regulation had been blocked.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh punted. McPherson then decided that 29 yards was too long, and he shanked his second attempt at victory.

Steelers kicker Chris Boswell was taken off the hook, as he missed a 55-yard attempt on their second drive of overtime. He later redeemed himself from 53 yards out.

The only reason that McPherson’s rating is only a six was due to the four costly interceptions thrown by Burrow.


Rodrigo Blankenship - Indianapolis Colts: 8/10

This game was as ugly as it gets.

An Indianapolis team that had a promising offseason, including the acquisition of a Hall of Fame level quarterback, was up against a completely gutted franchise over the last few years in the Houston Texans.

Blankenship must have been thinking of his next LEGO Star Wars project too hard, as he gave the fans to the right of the goalpost a souvenir from 42 yards out in overtime.

Whether you enjoy the possibility of ties or not, this game should have been decided long before the final whistle of the fourth. This is what kept Blankenship from a full ten.

The Colts thought he deserved a 10/10, as they waived him Tuesday, just two days after the game.


Randy Bullock - Tennessee Titans: 10/10

This game was a fever dream to say the least.

Tennessee, just a year removed from being the AFC’s No. 1 seed, was set to face off against one of the worst teams in the league with a brand new head coach.

This game began as everyone thought it would. The Giants looked sloppy and the Titans stormed all over the field.

Half way through the 4th quarter, however, you’d think the Giants were an actual contender. Brian Daboll won the hearts and souls of the New York faithful through his gutsy call to go for a go-ahead two point conversion inside of two minutes.

While this game should have been decided by then, multiple defensive holding penalties led to a deep drive late for the Titans, setting up a 47-yard field goal to put the game to rest.

What happened? Randy Bullock created another Music City Miracle, but for the wrong team.

I’d assume that Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill had a little chit-chat with their placekicker in the locker room.


Brandon McManus - Denver Broncos: 2/10

Broncos Country, wide left.

This game was an insult to Denver. There are not many teams making it obvious that they are playing for the future. Seattle was definitely one of them.

You don’t trade away your Super Bowl winning quarterback in the offseason if you are looking to win. I wonder where that MVP level quarterback ended up.

Russell Wilson didn’t look great, but he was serviceable. It just so happened that his running backs watched South Park before the game and wanted to play ‘Sarcastaball’. They each lost fumbles deep into drives.

To top off the embarrassment, the game came down to a fourth-and-five with a minute left. Instead of letting his top 10 quarterback get into field goal range, coach Nathaniel Hackett confusingly decided to trot out his kicker.

All could have been forgiven from McManus, but he must have come from a disciplinary family and wanted to punish his team for their misbehavior.

Let it go on the record that McManus’ career long is 61 yards, and he has not made a field goal from longer than 55 yards outside of Denver or a domed stadium since 2016.

Joseph Callahan Jr is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jcc5950@psu.edu.