2017 Postseason Bye Evaluation Break: K Chris Boswell

We weren’t able to get around to talking about every single notable player for the Pittsburgh Steelers during our midseason evaluations at the bye week, so as we have another bye week and a brief pause in football, I wanted to take this time to circle back a bit and highlighting a few more players who played an undervalued role for the team this year.

The Steelers went 6-2 during the first half of the season, and did even better in the second half, with only a review in New York separating them from an 8-0 back half. 7-1 isn’t bad, but it is the difference between a bye week and homefield advantage.

As the season wore on, different players were called upon to step up at different times, and I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of them. This week, I will be highlighting Tyson Alualu, Sean Spence, Cameron Sutton, James Conner, Chris Hubbard, and Chris Boswell.

Player: Chris Boswell

We wrap up our bye week player review coverage with kicker Chris Boswell, the first Steelers specialist—not including returners—to make the Pro Bowl in over two decades. With a field goal percentage north of 90, four field goals made from 50 yards or beyond, and a quartet of game-winners to boot, he certainly deserved the distinction on his 35 successful makes.

A scrap-heap signing as the fourth option at kicker during the course of the 2015 season, Boswell has truly begun to establish himself as one of the better players at his position from year to year in his third season, doing so all the while having Dave Bryan blocked on Twitter.

In what little research I can find on the subject, the last, and possibly only other kickers to record four game-winning field goals in the last minute of a season were Josh Brown in 2006 and Ryan Longwell in 2004. While a kicker obviously needs the opportunities to set that record, the pressure of situations still makes it a remarkable achievement.

But pressure has never appeared to be a factor for Boswell, who recently described a game-winning field goal as, and I believe I’m paraphrasing here but, “just another kick”. A field goal is a routine, and that routine remains constant in all situations, even if the result of that routine can have higher or lower stakes depending on the context.

The only thing you can control, however, is your own process, and it’s not as though you don’t try as hard to make a field goal if you’re already winning by 17 points. Your process for that field goal is the same as a game-winner. The variable is how you let the moment affect you.

The aspect I am most excited for in the future is whether or not he—and by extension, the team—will legitimately seek to add the long-distance field goal to his repertoire. His four attempts from 50-plus are the second-most in a season in Steelers history, and his four makes are double the next-most. Boswell has six makes from that distance now in his career, behind only Gary Anderson and Jeff Reed, both tied with eight. Anderson tried 27, Reed 17, to get eight. Both played over 100 games—Anderson nearly 200—while Boswell hasn’t even played 50 yet for the Steelers.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • The Tony

    Absolutely love Boswell’s cold blooded approach to kicking. The kid never lets the pressure get to him. His leg appears to have been getting stronger over the years as well. He’s not a Justin Tucker, but he is getting pretty close

  • CountryClub

    Boz is the man

  • Doug Andrews

    I’d like to know why the Boz blocked Dave B on twitter..

  • Mezzetin

    The Wizard of Boz…

  • SteelerFanInMD

    He’s also a bargain playing as an UDFA.

  • FlaFan47

    ditto…

  • Matthew Marczi

    Haha. It was a misunderstanding of sorts. It came after the whole Pro Bowl thing with both Dave and Alex saying that Justin Tucker deserved it more.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I think he’ll be a definite priority for a long-term contract this offseason. They wanted to get something done in training camp but it didn’t get done. Probably because Tuitt’s deal came down to the wire.

  • dany

    What I love about him! This guy could miss the game winning kick in the superbowl next month (obviously that would suck) and he’d be totally fine and continue rocking

  • Doug Andrews

    Thanks lol. Bos had a amazing regular season but hard to argue with the nod going to Tucker. He’s on another level.