At this point in the season we have a true idea of what to expect from each kicker, for better or worse, and they need to be looked at through the prism of their 2016 stats. That means Blair Walsh has been banished from these rankings, at least for a week or two (he also should have been replaced by the Vikings, but that’s a different story). Let’s take a look at how the kickers rank for this week:
Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cleveland
Matt Bryant – Atlanta Falcons – at Philadelphia
Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Seattle
Brandon McManus – Denver Broncos – at New Orleans
Mason Crosby – Green Bay Packers – at Tennessee
Dan Bailey – Dallas Cowboys – at Pittsbugh
Cairo Santos – Kansas City Chiefs – at Carolina
Josh Lambo – San Diego Chargers – vs. Miami
Will Lutz – New Orleans Saints – vs. Denver
Caleb Sturgis – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Atlanta
Stephen Hauschka – Seattle Seahawks – at New England
Chandler Catanzaro – Arizona Cardinals – vs. San Francisco
Dustin Hopkins – Washington Redskins – vs. Minnesota
Robbie Gould – New York Giants – vs. Cincinnati
Nick Novak – Houston Texans – at Jacksonville
There is clear reason why we see so many veteran kickers still going strong around the age of 40, as they still get the job done. Matt Bryant is averaging the most points per game, 10.9, and he is showing no signs of slowing down. Bryant has converted 20 of his 21 field goal attempts, with a long of 53 yards, and he has been perfect on all 31 of his extra point attempts. This week he has to kick in the elements, Philadelphia, and his Falcons are also facing a tough defense. However, the Eagles are not unstoppable and Matt Ryan will continue to give Bryant multiple opportunities. In fact, it could work in Bryant’s favor if Atlanta is forced into a few more field goal attempts than touchdowns.
If you do a search by points so far this season, you aren’t going to find Robbie Gould, but that is doing a disservice to the veteran. After being released by the Bears he started the season as a free agent before replacing Josh Brown for the Giants. Gould has appeared in two games for New York and he has yet to miss a kick. The veteran converted one field goal two weeks ago and he has been perfect on all six of his extra point attempts. Facing the Bengals the Giants likely won’t score four touchdowns, so there should be a few field goal attempts.
The Jaguars have been a complete mess this season, so it shouldn’t be surprising that they are allowing the most points to opposing kickers. That means Nick Novak, who has been a solid option this season, is definitely worth a look. So far this season he has converted 85.7% of his field goals and 11 of his 12 extra point attempts. The struggles of Houston’s offense have limited him somewhat, but Novak does have 18 field goals made through eight games. It really will be hard for the Texans to struggle against Jacksonville this week.