Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell attempted to throw a pass during Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns, and he paid a hefty price. The veteran was knocked out of the remainder of the game, but he had a great sense of humor about it.
With 1:45 remaining in the first half and the score tied 3-3, the Steelers ran a fake field goal deep in Cleveland territory. Boswell rolled out and looked for an open receiver but was unable to find one. Rather than throwing a touchdown, Boswell was lit up by Browns defensive tackle Jordan Elliott. You can see a video of the play here.
Boswell was evaluated for a concussion after the hit and did not clear protocol. He thanked fans for their concern after the game with a hilarious Instagram post:
The fake field goal play backfired in a huge way. Steelers punter Pressley Harvin had no prior experience kicking. When Pittsburgh scored in the second half to cut Cleveland’s lead to 10-9, they were forced to go for two and did not convert. Harvin then kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds and gave the Browns great starting field position.
Fortunately for the Steelers, they pulled out the win anyway. Hopefully Boswell is able to return sooner rather than later.
The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to convert on a fake field goal play during Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, and the questionable decision cost them much more than three points.
With 1:45 remaining in the first half and the score tied 3-3, the Steelers ran a fake field goal deep in Cleveland territory. Kicker Chris Boswell rolled out and looked for an open receiver but was unable to find one. Rather than throwing a touchdown, Boswell was lit up by Browns defensive tackle Jordan Elliott.
Here’s another angle of the play:
Boswell left the game following the hit and was evaluated for a concussion. He did not clear protocol and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Former NFL referee and CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore said the Browns should have been flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
Losing Boswell immediately proved costly for the Steelers. Their punter, rookie Pressley Harvin, has no prior experience kicking. When Pittsburgh scored in the second half to cut Cleveland’s lead to 10-9, they were forced to go for two and did not convert. Harvin then kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds and gave the Browns great starting field position.
Boswell getting hurt on the fake field goal was obviously the worst-case scenario for the Steelers, but it’s fair to wonder if it was worth the risk. While we’ve seen fake field goals that backfired a lot worse than that one, the injury changed the entire dynamic of the game.
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell, once a Pro Bowler, had a very down 2018, and it means his job isn’t guaranteed to him for next season.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert admitted that Boswell will face competition for his role in 2019, but he made clear that the team is committed to helping their kicker recover his best form.
“As a young player we also believe that he can find his way out of that and we will support him in that attempt,” Colbert said, via Grant Gordon of NFL.com. “Does that mean that he won’t have competition? Absolutely not. We signed a kid, Matt McCrane, when we put Boswell on reserve/injured and Matt did a nice job in that Cincinnati game kicking the field goals that helped us win that game. Could we add another young player into that mix? Sure. There will be competition for ‘Bos.'”
Boswell was just 13-for-20 on field goal attempts in 2018, missing two of six from between 30 and 39 and only making half of his ten attempts from between 40 and 49. That was a huge disappointment considering the deal he got before the season, coming off a 2017 when he converted 92 percent of his field goal tries. They need that form to return.
The 2018 NFL regular season was filled with highs and lows from start to finish. New players established themselves as the future, older players have had their careers called into question, and the amount of change league-wide was unparalleled. It was exciting, frustrating and euphoric all in one. But for some players, it was also wildly disappointing. Who are the players who disappointed? Here’s a look at 10 players who under-performed in 2018.
10. Chris Boswell, K, Pittsburgh Steelers
A year ago, Chris Boswell was considered one of the best kickers in the league and was voted to his first ever Pro Bowl. In fact, he was so dominating in 2017 that he was named an honorary member of the Killer B’s alongside Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, and even received a four-year, $16.8 million extension from the Steelers. However, like each of the other Killer B’s, 2018 wasn’t nearly as kind to him. Boswell alone cost Pittsburgh at least two games with missed kicks, and it could be argued that he was the reason they ultimately missed the playoffs. Boswell finished the 2018 campaign having connected on just 65% of his field goal attempts (13-of-20), while missing five — yes, five — point after (PAT) attempts. It had gotten so bad late in the season that Pittsburgh considered signing a new kicker, cutting Bowsell loose and just eating the remainder of his contract.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may not have been willing to meet Le’Veon Bell’s contract demands for a second consecutive offseason, but it sounds like they had no problem making their kicker a very happy man.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Steelers have agreed to a four-year extension with kicker Chris Boswell that is worth around $20 million.
Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots is currently the highest-paid kicker in the league with an average annual value of $4.3 million on his contract, followed by Graham Gano at $4.25 million and Justin Tucker at $4.2 million.
We have already seen Bell take some not-so-subtle shots at the Steelers over contracts players with other teams got, so we can only imagine how he must feel about a kicker getting $5 million a year.
There has been a lot of talk about all the cheap shots that were thrown in Monday night’s game between the Bengals and Steelers, and Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell believes he became a target as he was attempting a game-winning kick.
The Bengals were penalized five yards for offsides on Boswell’s first kick attempt with four seconds remaining in the game. During the pay, a Cincinnati player stuck his foot out and made contact with Boswell’s kicking leg.
As far as Boswell is concerned, a player would never jump that far offsides unless he is trying to injure the kicker.
“You’re not jumping offsides that bad without trying to run into the kicker,” Boswell said Monday morning, per Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It’s not an accident at all. If you look in the NFL for the last two years, multiple teams have done it just to try to … either if it’s running into, blocking the kick, doing something. But Seattle did it last year against the Bills, Ravens did it against us last year — and now Cincinnati.”
The penalty turned a 43-yard kick into a 38-yarder, and Boswell was able to convert. He said his foot “stung” after he was contacted by a Bengals player, but it did not affect his ability to make the kick.
It goes without saying that the Bengals would deny trying to injure Boswell intentionally, but no one is surprised to hear an accusation like that occur after a game in which multiple players were flagged for illegal hits. If you heard what Ben Roethlisberger said about the Bengals-Steelers rivalry earlier in the week, you know Boswell’s interpretation of Cincy’s late-game penalty is par for the course.
NFL superstars tend to receive many rewards, ranging from massive contracts to All-Pro nods and trips to the Pro Bowl. But in order to succeed at the highest level, all 32 teams still need role players and unsung heroes to help them along their journey.
Sometimes those role players receive the recognition they deserve — most often within the fan bases or cities in which they play. But frequently, they are not recognized the way they should be.
Each team has some hidden gems on their roster — here’s a look at one for each team.
Arizona Cardinals – Markus Golden, linebacker
Markus Golden is more overlooked than unknown, but at his current rate of development, he won’t be forgotten much longer. Golden finished the 2016 season with 53 total pressures, 41 run stops and 12.5 sacks. The 41 run stops were good for fourth-most among edge defenders in the NFL. Golden is in line for a Pro Bowl or All-Pro nod in 2017 if he continues at this pace. If that happens, the secret will be out.
Atlanta Falcons – Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle
Grady Jarrett was considered underrated in college and that remained true over his first two seasons with the Falcons. Even despite a strong performance in the Super Bowl, Jarrett hasn’t exactly seen his name in lights. If Atlanta didn’t choke the game away, perhaps that would be different, but for now, Jarrett and his 78.3 Pro Football Focus rating will continue to fly under the radar.
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell was the one getting kicked (out) of PPG Paints Arena on Thursday night.
Boswell, who was cheering on the local Pittsburgh Penguins along with some fellow Steelers at Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, tweeted that he was ejected from the game for banging on the glass.
Television cameras caught the Steelers in the stands prior to Boswell’s tweet.
On the bright side, the Penguins went on to defeat the Nashville Predators by the final of 6-0 in a game that was already out of reach by the second period. They now hold a 3-2 lead in the series, putting them just one win away from their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
As for Boswell, he can settle for putting to rest the idea that kickers have no heart. Perhaps Marcus Mariota can learn a thing or two from him.
The Pittsburgh Steelers got creative with their onside kick attempt against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and it backfired.
Kicker Chris Boswell tried to do one of those fake kicks to one side and swing the leg back so the ball goes to the other side, but he ended up kicking the ball into his lead leg and the ball didn’t go anywhere. It was the onside kick equivalent of a face plant:
Before you call out the Steelers and ask what the heck they were thinking, just remember that Boswell successfully pulled off the move when he was in college at Rice.