PITTSBURGH — It’s hard to take things for granted in football, but there is no doubt that sometimes, having an elite kicker can go under the radar. Teams like the Ravens, who have Justin Tucker, routinely win games because of his boot. The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the boat, too. Chris Boswell had played with the team for nearly a decade, yet his boot sometimes goes unappreciated. But 2023 might be his masterpiece.
Is it pretty good when, between extra point attempts and field goals, your kick is 28 of 29? Oh, and the one missed kick is a 60-yarder. Boswell would be perfect if not for an offside call on Isaac Seumalo. You can certainly argue that the call was wrong, too, lending to just how impressive this was from Boswell. He had a down year last year after suffering a groin injury, but there is no reason to worry about him anymore. It’s hard to argue there has been a better kicker in football so far this season with how well he is playing.
This is coming off what may be the worst season of his career. Over his career, Boswell has earned a reputation as one of the league’s best kickers. But in 2022, he had a down season, posting a career-low 71.4 field goal percentage. It’s not what he wanted, but much of it can be chalked up to a groin injury he suffered last October. That brings the Steelers to 2023. B.T. Potter came in during training camp and at least let Boswell know that he had to prove that the yips were related to the injury and not a decline in play. In training camp, Boswell easily won the job. However, his start to 2023 is not just good; it’s scorching.
Boswell Keeps Raising the Bar
Mike Tomlin has had a unique career with kickers. He has coached only three significant kickers over his entire career, and the stability is something that teams do not find. But between Jeff Reed, Shaun Suisham, and Boswell, he has three kickers for most of his tenure in Pittsburgh. Routinely, Tomlin says he just wants to see the ball go through the uprights. Boswell is doing that and helping power Pittsburgh to games.
“It’s automatic,” Tomlin said. “You know, I’ve been really blessed here in the time that I’ve been here. I’ve been here a long time and essentially have had three kickers, and so that continuity, man, that ability to deliver with a high level of consistency is — we don’t talk about it enough, but rest assured it’s appreciated.”
Pittsburgh’s offense has needed it. I don’t want to jinx the man, but if he keeps it up, this might finally be the year Boswell nabs that elusive All-Pro. He deserves it if he holds at this pace. Many kickers have impressive starts, but Boswell is a crisp 17 of 17 on kicks with 59 or fewer yards. He is four for four on 50+ yarders. He is the most accurate kicker in NFL history from 50+ yards. That’s a real stat. Given he plays in Acrisure Stadium with volatile wind gusts, that is about as impressive as you can imagine.
Pittsburgh will go on the road along some of those volatile kicking environments in Cleveland and Cincinnati over the next few weeks. Boswell’s consistency will be tested there, too, but he consistently comes through for a team that needs every point it can wring out. Boswell is bringing that.