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The Steelers 2019 bright spot through Week 3: Chris Boswell

A liability in 2018, Boswell has been perfect on every opportunity a season later

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have started off to a dismal 0-3 start so far in 2019 and fans are slamming the panic button, firing the coaching staff or jettisoning players. One of those players not getting the ire of fans or his head on the chopping block is kicker Chris Boswell. Through three games he is a perfect 4-4 on extra points and 5-5 on field goals. The perfect stats are a turnaround from last season when Boswell was the worst kicker in the NFL.

Prior to the start of the 2018 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers rewarded Boswell with a massive four-year $16.8-million extension. It was a well-deserved extension with Boswell coming off his first Pro Bowl, but the season was not to be one fans or Boswell were hoping for. The misses started early and progressed too often as the season continued. His confidence was shaky and almost destroyed when he missed a game-tying field goal against the Oakland Raiders. The stunning second miss of the day came as time expired giving the Raiders their second win of the season.

Mercifully, Boswell’s season ended before Week 17 when he was placed on Injured Reserve. His 65 percent (13 of 20) field goal conversations was dead last among NFL kickers with at least 15 games played. His 89.6 percent (43-48) extra point conversion rate was third to last in the NFL.

To call 2018 a miserable season for Boswell is an absolute understatement. The only thing that saved his job was the amount of dead money involved if he would have been released by the Steelers. Boswell had a cap hit of $3.2 million in 2018 but that amount would have jumped if they had released him during the season.

Fast forward to the 2019 offseason and the only competition the Steelers brought in was weak-legged and inaccurate undrafted rookie free agent Matthew Wright. A sham competition ensued through training camp and into preseason when the kickers took turns kicking in games. Did Wright ever really stand a chance of making a field goal over 50 yards in college? No.

With wheels flying off the Steelers cart left and right with an 0-3 start and their future HOF quarterback out for the year, fans have been jabbing their fingers into the chest of many a player. Luckily, Boswell has not been even near the center of attention for disgruntled fans. The former Rice Owl is entering his fifth year with Pittsburgh and is perfect on field goals and extra points through three games in 2019.

Can Boswell keep his confidence up to the level it was in 2017 when he hit 37 of 39 extra points and 35 of 38 field goals along with all six extra points in the playoffs? Or will his confidence break, especially if the team continues in a downward spiral, and eventually cost the Steelers victories?