In a recent article at CBSSports.com, John Breech ranked the top 10 NFL kickers and punters going into the 2021 NFL season. Although the Steelers did not have a punter crack the top 10, it would be crazy to think they should as the job has yet to be settled. But as for placekicker, the Steeler’s Chris Boswell landed at the third spot on the list.
Here is the breakdown by Breech which put Boswell in the top three:
Back in 2018, nearly everyone in Pittsburgh wanted to see the Steelers release Boswell after a disastrous season where he hit just 65% of his kicks.
In the end, the Steelers decided to keep their kicker and the gamble definitely paid off because Boswell has been one of the best kickers in the NFL over the past two years. In 2020, he hit 19 of 20 field goals, which is even more impressive when you consider that his only miss came from 59 yards out. Boswell’s 95% hit rate on field goals was the fourth-highest in the NFL. Although he struggled on extra points in 2020 — he hit just 89.5% — he’s only one year removed from a 2019 season where he made them all.
Boswell was one of the NFL’s best kickers during his first three years in the league (2015-17) and he’s returned to that form over the past two years. One other reason Boswell is ranked so high is because he holds the NFL postseason record for most field goals without a miss (16 for 16).
It has been great to see Boswell bounce back from his disastrous 2018 season. After missing seven field goals in 15 games, Boswell only missed three combined field goals over 30 games over the last two seasons. Between getting over injury and the mental block which can happen after a number of missed kicks, Boswell is back to one of the best in the NFL.
To the surprise of very few, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker grabbed the number one spot on the list. With the Chief’s Harrison Butker coming in second, the AFC grabbed the top four spots with Jacksonville’s Josh Lambo coming in a spot behind Boswell. Green Bay’s Mason Crosby was the NFC’s top kicker on the list coming in at number five.
Boswell made the Pro Bowl in 2017 after hitting numerous late-game field goals to help the Steelers to a 13-3 record. Since then, Boswell hasn’t been called on to be the hero on a consistent basis. After the nightmare that was 2018, it appears Boswell once again has the confidence of Steelers’ fan to knock the big kick through if the situation arises.