From this moment forward, Week 5 shall be remembered as the week all the kicks were missed. One minute a slew of game-winning field goals — including Justin Tucker’s NFL record 66-yarder in Week 3 — were ensuring kickers got their flowers, the next they couldn’t seem to buy a make.
To be clear, Tucker got out of the Baltimore Ravens’ Monday Night Football matchup with the Indianapolis Colts unscathed … because he’s Justin Tucker. But Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship wasn’t as lucky.
Blankenship’s name got added to the list of kickers who fell prey to the Week 5 curse when he delivered the 13th missed extra point of the week.
Rodrigo Blankenship’s missed PAT on #MondayNightFootball was the 13th miss across the NFL this week
That is the most missed PAT in a single week in the Super Bowl era
It is also the 25th missed kick in total this week (incl. 12 missed FG), most in a week since Week 11, 1987
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 12, 2021
Not long after the above was tweeted, Blankenship missed a 47-yard field goal attempt on the final play of regulation (the 13th failed field goal of the week), bringing the grand tally to 26 muffed kicks since Thursday.
The influx of misses marks the first week with at least 10 missed field goals and at least 10 missed extra points since the point after touchdown was moved back from the 2-yard-line to the 15-yard-line in 2015.
It all started when Los Angeles Rams kicker Matt Gay missed an extra point on his team’s first touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during Thursday Night Football. Things went downhill quickly from there.
On Sunday morning, the bad juju continued in London, England when New York Jets kicker Matt Ammendola missed an extra-point attempt on the Jets’ first touchdown of the day in their early loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, Week 5 caught up with Mason Crosby. The Green Bay Packers kicker entered the matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals having made 27 straight field goals. Week 5 appeared to take that personally as Crosby missed three crucial field goals and an extra point before eventually making the game-winner.
With Green Bay and Cincinnati tied at 22 with 2:12 left, Crosby shanked a 36-yarder wide left. The Bengals then drove into field goal range for their own go-ahead field goal attempt, but in a shocking turn of events, Evan McPherson’s 57-yard attempt also resulted in a miss.
After a quick strike from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams, the Packers once again put Crosby in position to be the hero. Conversely, he missed from 51 yards away to send the game into overtime.
WE’RE GOING TO OT IN CINCY.
— NFL (@NFL) October 10, 2021
In overtime, the Packers intercepted Joe Burrow to set up another game-winning field goal chance for Crosby. To the surprise of absolutely no one reading this, he missed. That gave Cincinnati’s McPherson another chance at the game-winner. One which he, too, missed.
It hit the flag?!
— NFL (@NFL) October 10, 2021
Crosby eventually redeemed himself with a 49-yard field goal to give the Packers the win.
But the collective kicking woes hardly stopped there.
The Los Angeles Chargers managed to pull out a win over the Cleveland Browns, however it was hardly thanks to stellar kicking. Tristan Vizcaino missed a pair of extra points, including one that would have tied the game at 42 after Austin Ekeler took a screen pass to the house with just over three minutes left. Vizcaino has now missed four extra points on the season.
In keeping with the theme, the New England Patriots’ close win over the Houston Texans featured three missed extra points in a row. The Texans’ Kai Fairbairn missed the PAT on his team’s first score, and Patriots kicker Nick Folk answered with a missed PAT of his own on the Patriots’ first touchdown. When Houston responded with another touchdown, Fairbairn missed another extra point. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
Elsewhere, Cody Parkey of the New Orleans Saints missed an extra point after a touchdown by Alvin Kamara against the Washington Football Team and Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Matthew Wright missed the extra point on the Jaguars’ first touchdown of the day.
Can’t help wondering if the word “missed” has ever been used more frequently in a story. Also, on a slightly unrelated note, that things can only get better from here for beleaguered kickers everywhere.