If there’s one position where the Kansas City Chiefs should have a huge advantage in Super Bowl LVIII, it’s at kicker.
The Chiefs will be going into the game with Harrison Butker, who was the fourth-most accurate kicker in the NFL in 2023 after a season where he hit a career-high 94.3% of his field goal attempts. On the other hand, the 49ers will be going into the game with rookie Jake Moody, who ranked 20th overall in accuracy. Not only did he hit just 84% of his kicks in 2023, but he’s also missed at least one field goal in each of his past three games, including both playoff games that the 49ers have played.
Starting a rookie kicker in the Super Bowl sounds like something that could be a recipe for disaster, but as it turns out, that actually hasn’t been the case over the course of NFL history. When he takes the field on Sunday, Moody will become the 12th rookie or first-year player to kick in the Super Bowl, and surprisingly, the rookies who came before him have actually thrived.
Instead of melting under the pressure of the Super Bowl, rookie kickers have had ice in their veins for the big game. The 11 rookies who have kicked in a Super Bowl have combined to hit 15 of 17 field goal attempts (88.2%), which is drastically better than everyone else. Non-rookies have combined to hit 137 of 187 field goals, which is just 73.2%.
Moody’s numbers are actually similar to the last two rookies to kick in a Super Bowl: Evan McPherson and Jake Elliott.
The Bengals kicker only hit 84.8% of his kicks in 2021, just 0.8% better than Moody, but he was perfect in the Super Bowl going 2-for-2 with makes from 29 and 38. As for Elliott, he hit just 83.9% of his field goals during his rookie year, but he was perfect in the Super Bowl with makes from 25, 42 and 46. Elliott has been so good in the Super Bowl that he has since tied the career record for most field goals (5) without a miss in the…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2024-super-bowl-49ers-could-get-unexpected-boost-from-key-position-if-this-super-bowl-trend-continues/
Author : John Breech
Publish date : 2024-02-09 14:15:16
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