A kicker’s impact on a team’s success is more than most people believe. They alone can win or lose anywhere from two to four games every season. In a 16 game season, that is what will make or break your team’s ability to make the playoffs.
I haven’t met any, but I’m sure some people believe kickers aren’t that important to a team. To those people, I say go talk to Bears fans. Then maybe they will appreciate kickers a little more.
The Chiefs signed a then 22-year-old Harrison Butker after he was put on the practice team of the Carolina Panthers. From Week 4 of the 2017 season and to this day, he remains a solid kicker for the Chiefs.
Last season, he had an 89.5 percent field goal percentage. He missed one from 36 yards in Week 4 and went on to miss three from 50+ yards over the rest of the season. He also missed three extra-point kicks, ending the season with a 93.8 percent extra-point percentage.
The Dallas Cowboys have been looking for a steady starter since they cut Dan Bailey back in 2018. They signed Kai Forbath with three games remaining in the 2019 season and signed Greg Zuerlein to battle with Forbath for the starting spot in 2020.
Throughout his career, Forbath has an 86.8 field goal percentage and a 93.8 extra-point percentage. In three games with Dallas and one with the New England Patriots during the 2019 season, he had a perfect 11 for 11 field goal percentage. He was also 11 for 12 on extra-point kicks.
Zuerlein just came off a rough season with the Los Angeles Rams. He made 24 of 32 field goals, giving him a 72.7 field goal percentage. He was, however, a perfect 42 for 42 on extra-point kicks.
I think that Forbath will end up with the starting gig, simply based on his and Zuerlein’s 2019 season. Forbath’s 86.8 field goal percentage is also better than Zuerlein’s 82.0 field goal percentage.
Matchup Forbath with Butker and I have Butker winning it. Not only is Butker’s 89.7 field goal percentage in his career better than Forbath’s, but Forbath made only 12 field goals from 50+ yards in 81 games, while Butker made nine field goals from 50+ yards in 45 games.