Week One was ugly for NFL kickers. Ever since, they’ve been outstanding.
Kickers missed more field goals in Week One of 2020 than they’ve missed in any opening week since 1982, when field goal kickers were far less accurate than they’ve become in recent years. As we noted at the time, that could have been a result of empty stadiums, but it also could have just been a blip.
The results from Week Two on suggest “blip.”
Kickers have been so successful since Week Two that the overall field goal percentage in the NFL for the 2020 season is now 86.1 percent, an increase over the field goal accuracy rate of 81.6 percent for the 2019 season. Looking at just Weeks 2-5, kickers have been more accurate than ever.
In Week One, Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed three field goals. Since then, he’s been a perfect 8-for-8. And no kicker in the NFL has missed three field goals in any game since Gostkowski’s three misses.
In addition to Gostkowski’s three misses, Week One also saw two kickers (Arizona’s Zane Gonzalez and Buffalo’s Tyler Bass) miss two field goals apiece. In four weeks since, only one kicker (Jacksonville’s Stephen Hauschka) has missed more than one field goal in any game.
Whatever the reasons, NFL kickers have been excellent this season, and the struggles of Week One feel like a distant memory.