Kickers and punters usually don’t receive the kind of recognition and accolades as the rest of the 53-man roster. Simply put, the nature of the position does not demand the same degree of physicality as other positions.
While receivers and running backs are called “the skill positions,” specialists are the ultimate skill players.
The tradeoff for physicality is a necessity for consistent excellence, while striving for perfection.
The position requires a reassurance and a mental toughness with the ability to rise above the pressure of 80,000 screaming fans with the game and/or season on the line. There is a sense of reliance that comes with the territory.
If a kicker is unable to deliver that reassurance to his coaches, teammates, and fans then the fall from grace can be a rapid one to say the least.
There literally is no room for error.
For K Kai Forbath, he was able to rise above the pressure and make the kicks needed to secure his spot in Washington. He enjoyed a stellar start to his NFL career with the Redskins, converting on 17-for-18 field goal attempts (94.4%) and 33-for-34 on extra point attempts.
In total, he accounted for 84 total points (7.6 points per game) in just 11 games played.
So let’s take a look at how his season stacks up against some of the all-time great kickers in NFL history. Obviously these names are up for debate, but below are the top five kickers based on points scored (we threw in the great Adam Vinatieri and Mark Moseley because we can).
- Morten Andersen (1982-2007) – In his first year (1982), the all-time points leader among kickers was a measly 2-for-5 on field goals (40 percent) and 6-for-6 on extra points for 12 total points (8 games played).
- Gary Anderson (1982-2004) – Anderson converted 10-of-12 (83.3 percent) field goals for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a perfect 22-for-22 on extra points for a total of 52 points (9 games played).
- Jason Hanson (1992-present) – Hanson connected on 21-of-26 field goals and 30-for-30 extra point attempts for 93 total points in a full 16 game season.
- John Carney (1988-2010) – In four games played, Carney went 2-for-5 (40 percent) on field goals and was 6-for-6 on extra points for a total of 12 points.
- Matt Stover (1991-2009) – In 1991, Stover appeared in all 16 games for Cleveland converting 72.7 percent of his field goals (16-for-22) and made 33-for-34 extra point attempts for a total of 81 points.
- Adam Vinatieri (1996-present) – Still remembered for his clutch performances in the playoffs, Vinatieri had a killer boot from the get-go connecting on 27-for-35 field goal attempts (77.1 percent) and 39-for-42 extra point attempts for 120 total points in his rookie campaign with New England (16 games).
- Mark Moseley (1970-1986) – Moseley’s career started with Philadelphia in 1970 where he went 14-for-25 on field goals (56 percent) and 25-for-28 on extra point conversions. In fact, his MVP season in Washington was most comparable to Forbath’s season this year when he connected on 20-for-21 field goals and added 16 extra points for a total of 76 points.
Admittedly, it’s a little premature to begin the comparisons of Kai Forbath to some of the best NFL kickers of all-time. But after all he is in the Hall of Fame, something that cannot be said for the names mentioned above.
Forbath undeniably has the talent. He holds the NFL record for consecutive field goals made to start a professional career (17) breaking previous record-holder Garret Hartley’s record of 16.
So Redskins Nation, you just may have found your kicker for years to come. Hail to the Redskins!
And just in case you’re wondering how the kicker is spending his offseason when he’s not in training, check out his golf swing (via @KaiForbath on Twitter):
Forbath may not be the next Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus, but don’t be surprised if he makes an appearance on the ‘Haney Project’ with Hank Haney in the near future.
How would YOU grade his golf swing?
Tags: Kai Forbath, mark moseley, washington redskins
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