Week 1 takeaways: Garbage kicking, missed field goals, spot kicking trend that kicks off 2022 NFL season

thehourlynews 3 weeks ago 0

Problem shooter?

Problem shooter?
Image: Getty Images

I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt a warm feeling all over the chest area on Sunday. That beautiful feeling was not provided by a beautiful smelling indica from the dispensary. It came from the fact that the NFL was finally back.

More training camp stories about the rookies, Page Six stories about Tom Brady’s personal life, or hilarious Detroit Lions “hard knocks” episodes. The world’s best football players put on their helmets and shoulder pads and really hit the ground running. No more red jerseys. Live contact for everyone for over three hour sessions.

Yes, the NFL is as tough as many other big successful American institutions, but at least the tangible good it provides doesn’t make it any less effective when it knows that. New version is being introduced in the market.

There are certainly too many games and the tight salary cap and 53-man roster limit make it difficult for teams to retain talent and be competitive for years on end. That being said, for five months sports fans watch athletes decked out in armor while playing war games on live television. It is arguably the best entertainment that television can provide, which is prominent in the ratings.

The first week was full of great dramas, surprises and dramas. The first witching hour of the 2022 season included two overtime games, but much of the intrigue was due to the kickers failing. Cairo Santos lost some extra points due to flooding in Chicagoland, but the Bears still beat the San Francisco 49ers by nine points. However, unsuccessful kicking attempts by other teams made for a pretty memorable Week 1.

Cincinnati had a force field around the goal post.

Another low scoring game, but mostly because of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. They shut down Joe Burrow and the 2021 AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals all afternoon and forced five turnovers.

That’s usually enough to beat any opponent, but the Steelers’ offense was struggling even with Ben Roethlisberger’s noodle arm accepting retirement. They scored as many points as they did in their season opener in 2021, and the Bulls turned the ball over just once in that victory.

Despite not being able to hold onto the ball, the Bengals were eventually able to tie the game at 20-all. They scored a touchdown with two seconds left, but were unable to put the game away. The Bengals stuck with the backup long snapper all day, and his quick snaps were a factor in both Evan McPherson — the kicker who led the Bengals to last season’s Super Bowl with clutch playoff kicks against the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs. It was delivered to the bowl. The last extra point in regulation and a 29-yard field goal attempt in overtime.

The Steelers responded with a 55-yarder of their own in overtime that tied the game. But when they got a second chance, they would not be denied. Chris Boswell attempted a kick only two yards and as time expired he attempted Mitchell Trubisky’s 5.1 yards per pass in a road victory over last year’s AFC champions.

A Week 1 tie: Thanks I guess the Colts and Texans

Of Sunday’s initial slate of Week 1 matchups, this had to be one of the least anticipated. It was Matt Ryan’s first game with the Indianapolis Colts, who again have a phenomenal roster. They were facing the Houston Texans, who may have been bad enough this season to get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, the Colts were down 7-3 at the end of the first half. The touchdown Houston scored after a Colts turnover.

The Colts continued to play sloppy football in the second half, including another turnover that led to another Texans touchdown, and the Texans were up 20-3 by the end of the third quarter. If the first game of the season had ended by that score, the Colts might have been tough to decide, but they have a stacked team with Matt Ryan at quarterback and are playing against Davis Mills and a very dysfunctional organization.

Eventually, the better team tied the game, and that’s where the score stood at the end of regulation.

The score was 20-20 and the 2022 NFL was far from a barnburner. Overtime didn’t provide much drama until the Colts had a chance to start the season the way they were supposed to. If their kicker could nail a 42-yard field goal to win the game, victory was within reach.

In his first two years as a professional kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship missed three of 17 field goals between 40-49 yards. In Week 1 of 2022, he missed his fourth from that range, failing to convert on a 42-yarder with less than two minutes left, and now the Texans and Colts start the season 0-1-0.

And then the New York Giants visited. Tennessee Titans.

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