It was a bounce-back year for Steelers kicker Chris Boswell, a player who had such a horrid 2018 (he missed a total of 12 kicks—including seven field goal tries and five extra point attempts), he should garner strong support for Comeback Player of the Year for 2019.
That’s right, whatever it was that ailed Boswell in 2018—many said it was his confidence, while others claimed it was a groin injury—disappeared in 2019, and he was back to his old, mostly automatic self.
Yes, the man who averaged nearly 89 percent on field goal attempts from 2015-2017, before dipping down to a cut-worthy 65 percent a year ago, bounced back to convert 93.5 percent of his field goals this season (29-31).
As far as his extra point tries? He was perfect. You read that right, Boswell did not miss on a single extra point try the entire year. So at least we know he’s back to his old self in that regard, as well.
Or do we?
Maybe Boswell didn’t have enough opportunities to screw up his share of extra points in 2019. Why? He only attempted 28 of them.
Twenty-eight extra points. Just let that number sink in for a moment.
Boswell may have missed five extra points in 2018, but he still converted 15 more than he did this season. And if he missed five a year ago, that obviously means he attempted 48.
This is just my long-winded way of saying that Boswell’s paltry number of extra point tries is perhaps the most telling statistic for how awful the team’s offense was in 2019.
All-in-all, the Steelers scored 29 touchdowns in 2019. In 2018, the team total was 54.
Of Pittsburgh’s 29 touchdowns in 2019, 25 of them came via the offense. In 2018, that number was 51.
To break down that math, the Steelers offense scored less than half as many touchdowns in 2019 as it did in 2018.
How in the blue heck did this team manage to win eight games, especially when you consider the defense, a unit that clearly took a giant step forward in 2019, scored just as many touchdowns as it did in 2018?
Years from now, when people Google Boswell’s career stats, and they see that his 28 extra point tries in 2019 were well-below the 37.5 he averaged in his previous four seasons, they may come to the conclusion that he was hurt or that the Steelers went for two a lot.
In many ways, you could say 2019 was Boswell’s best year, and in terms of what he meant to a severely limited Steelers offense, one might say he was invaluable in helping keep the team afloat and alive for the playoffs the entire season.
But is Boswell truly back, or was the Steelers offense so bad in 2019, his limited extra point tries were too small a sample-size to really know for sure?
That last paragraph was just a joke, but it sure would have been nice to see Chris Boswell get a chance to kick more extra points in 2019.