The Arizona Cardinals owe their luck at all to more than 2-3 in the last five games.
Hail Murray against Buffalo and Zane Gonzalez kicking off against Seattle. The make-up against Seahawks made up for a preliminary flaw that would have won him in the overtime earlier. Still, the timing of absences is worrying.
Gonzalez missed three final kicks in the last five minutes of the game in the final two minutes of play or overtime. Last Sunday led to a 20-17 defeat against the New England Patriots.
His 45-yard attempt to stay right at Gillette Stadium with 1:47, and the Patriots drove 33 yards in the other direction – 15 penalties were awarded by Cardinals rookie Isaiah Simmons – to win it at the buzzing foot. Nick Folk.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury strayed from announcing the final confidence in his forward kick.
“I need to get to coach (Jeff) Rodgers and talk about what he saw on it and what Zane felt,” Kingsbury said of the teams ’special coordinator and kick. – Like I said, he kicked us well most of the time. We just had to find a way to accomplish this, and there were plenty of games in this game that could make up for that.
Nevertheless, this is a trend.
Gonzalez stands 10 this year from the 40-49-meter kicks. Perfect for six field goals within 40 yards and 2-3 on attempts of 50 yards or longer.
His absence of three, however, was enormous.
On November 8, against the Miami Dolphins, a shaky 49 with 1:58 left him well behind the goalpost. Miami took a 34-31 lead and kicked the clock to victory after the stick strike.
In the match that preceded it, Gonzalez missed a 41-yard player who would have won the Seattle match in overtime. However, Gonzalez made a 44-yard attempt to send the game for overtime, with triple zeros per hour, and as a result of the missing, a 48-yard came back, which gave Arizona a 37-34 win and 15 seconds left from overtime.
“It was good many times,” Kingsbury said. “Obviously there are some kicks we want to push back, but we think he’s kicked us the ball well over the last two seasons. We had to be able to figure this out. We’re just working on it.
If the Cardinals open the kick job, Mike Nugent, a 15-year-old veteran of the NFL, will be the practice squad kicker on board. Otherwise, search and slow coronavirus protection protocols would be required for anyone to bring in a new one.
And obviously, the Cardinals don’t just have a kicking problem.
They lost to the Patriots after beating them 298-179, winning the traffic battle 2-1, and putting pressure on New England quarterback Cam Newton to finish with one of the worst statistical games of his decade.
“I’m sure he’s very mental,” Kyler Murray, the defender, said when asked if he should say anything to Gonzalez after the game. “I’ve never been kicking, I can’t talk about it, I don’t know.” But no, I’m not lagging behind – I’m not going and not being shocked by that or anything. I know how hard it is. He took every other kick and just didn’t go his own way by accident. I think we had a lot of other options to make this game easier for ourselves and we didn’t. “
Yet in three games, three kick-offs are still watching Gonzalez, whose seat is getting hotter.