It was kicker carnage in Week 1: Here’s every missed NFL game-winning kick

Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans

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Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season kicked off with a bang…until it didn’t. Here are all the gut-wrenching missed kicks in all their glory. 

NFL fans missing the adrenaline kicks felt throughout last season were treated to a rollercoaster of emotions following the results of a few marquee Week 1 games.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals went into overtime, as did the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.

The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints took their game down to the wire with a one-point differential, while the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles won by three points or less.

In other words, there were quite a few close ones, and for a few of these games, the victory came all the way down to the kick that never was.

Below are the game-winning kicks that ended up costing the team the win in Week 1.

Randy Bullock, Tennessee Titans: 47 yards, wide left

As Pro Football Network put it, the week of missed kicks continues. Tennessee Titans kicker Randy Bullock missed a game-winning field goal, giving the New York Giants the win in a 21-20 game.

For what it’s worth, it was a 47-yard field goal, with another angle showcasing just how challenging this particular kick was to make.

Of course, there were kicks over 50 yards made today, but making them in that range becomes increasingly more difficult. Still, the Titans had faith that Bullock could make it happen, and funnily enough, it was Bullock who held the Bengals franchise record of 57 yards until Evan McPherson broke it today.

Evan McPherson, Cincinnati Bengals: 29 yards, high snap

NFL journalist Ari Meriov captured the essence of what it is to be an NFL kicker: the highs are often followed by unbelievable lows.

On the same day that Bengals kicker Evan McPherson broke the franchise record with a 59-yard field goal, he also missed a 29-yard kick that would win them the game in overtime.

As Meirov noted, Bengals long snapper Clark Harris was ruled out of the game with a biceps injury, which ended up shaping the outcome of the game.

Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers: 55 yards, doink on the uprights

Conceivably, it must be harder to doink a field goal than make one, right?

That slender field goal pole is more difficult to pinpoint than the entire length of the field goal, but doinks aren’t all that uncommon. And when the Steelers needed Boswell to deliver in overtime, he missed big by hitting the field goal post instead of making one through the uprights.

Yet Boswell is the only NFL kicker on this list who was able to redeem himself: after the Bengals punted the ball back, Boswell came back and won the game in overtime with a 53-yarder.

Rodrigo Blankenship, Indianapolis Colts: 42 yards, wide right

As these other first-slate NFL matchups were taking place, so was an AFC South showdown between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts.

Surprisingly enough, the Texans and Colts went to overtime at 20-20, just like the Steelers and Bengals.

Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship had the opportunity to wrap it up with a 42-yard field goal, but the kick veered right before it could pass through the uprights.

The game resulted in a tie, which could have profound implications in this division later on in the season.

The other kickers on this list have relative job security in one of the NFL’s most precarious positions: miss a few game-winners, and an entire franchise could lose faith in a kicker’s leg.

That could be the case for Blankenship, who is already facing that kind of scrutiny after his Week 1 foibles.

Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons: Not a miss, but a blocked kick that ended it all

Anyone who played for or against Younghoe Koo in fantasy football this week would know that he was having quite the game on Sunday.

Koo made four out of five field goals and two extra points, kicking for 180 yards and giving the Falcons 14 total points. His longest kick was for 54 yards, and he was primed to make a 63-yarder.

Until it was blocked.

Unlike the other kickers on this list, Koo’s kick didn’t necessarily miss; Shelby Harris just made an unbelievable play with impeccable timing. In that moment, the Saints special teams unit trumped what Koo and the Falcons unit had done all game, and it excruciatingly game in the final moments with victory in sight.

Although the major storylines will be about the kicks that never were, there were some game-winning field goal attempts that did end up making it through.  Cade York of the Cleveland Browns and Will Lutz of the New Orleans Saints, who made their game-winning kick on the first go-around.

All memes aside, it was a tough go for NFL kickers today, but hopefully losses from Week 1 can turn into lessons for Week 2.

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