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50-yard field goals

Can some kickers be counted on for plenty of long-range kicks?

A trio of kickers banged in a bunch of long field goals last year. But is that an indication those kickers are more likely to also excel in that area in the upcoming season? Or is it more likely that such production is heavily influenced by luck/chance?

Specifically here, we talk about Brandon McManus (pictured), Jason Sanders and Younghoe Koo. Only seven times in the last 10 years has a player kicked at least 8 field goals from 50-plus, and three of those seasons occurred last year. (They’re in bold in the table below.)

But the repeat track record for such kickers hasn’t been awesome. Most recently, Joey Slye kicked 8 such field goals in 2019; he dipped to only 1 of 6 on long-range field goals last year.

On these kind of situations, I like to take a step back and look at the larger picture. As we look at more players, we get a better idea of what are fair expectations. And it turns out that 49 times previously in the last 10 years, a kicker converted at least 5 field goals from 50-plus yards. Looking at those guys could give us some context.

Of those previous kickers, 18 (just over a third) scored at least 4 long-field field goals the next year. But even more (19) finished with just 0-2 field goals from 50-plus in the next year. (The remaining 11 kickers scored 3 long field goals, which is an average number.)

Of these 49 kickers, only 11 scored at least 5 long-range field goal again in their follow-up season.

These current kickers are talented guys. (Particularly Sanders and Koo, who combined missed only one 50-yard field goal last year.) But none of them look like safe choices to rank among the top-5 long-range kickers in 2021.

Year50+Next Yr
201210-100-0Blair Walsh
201610-105-7Justin Tucker
202010-15?-?Brandon McManus
20178-94-5Matt Bryant
20198-111-6Joey Slye
20208-9?-?Jason Sanders
20208-8?-?Younghoe Koo
20117-104-7Sebastian Janikowski
20117-91-3David Akers
20117-80-3Phil Dawson
20127-77-8Phil Dawson
20127-130-0Greg Zuerlein
20147-100-0Matt Bryant
20157-90-0Robbie Gould
20167-77-11Matt Prater
20167-95-6Adam Vinatieri
20167-120-3Jason Myers
20177-94-7Stephen Hauschka
20177-113-5Matt Prater
20197-86-10Matt Prater
20207-8?-?Stephen Gostkowski
20116-63-4Robbie Gould
20116-72-3Rob Bironas
20126-97-10Sebastian Janikowski
20126-92-3Connor Barth
20136-74-4Justin Tucker
20136-73-5Dan Bailey
20136-73-4Matt Prater
20136-61-2Graham Gano
20146-93-3Phil Dawson
20146-83-5Dan Carpenter
20156-81-2Blair Walsh
20156-61-1Steven Hauschka
20166-88-9Matt Bryant
20176-74-6Greg Zuerlein
20176-90-1Kai Forbath
20186-74-8Brett Maher
20186-72-4Jason Myers
20206-10?-?Matt Prater
20115-73-4Jason Hanson
20135-72-9Mason Crosby
20145-96-8Blair Walsh
20145-75-6Dan Bailey
20145-73-9Greg Zuerlein
20155-67-7Matt Prater
20155-73-6Brandon McManus
20155-63-6Dan Bailey
20175-75-7Justin Tucker
20175-64-6Adam Vinatieri
20175-62-5Jake Elliott
20185-71-1Justin Tucker
20185-71-2Mason Crosby
20195-73-9Greg Zuerlein
20205-6?-?Graham Gano

—Ian Allan

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