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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

NFL Stinkers and Studs – Week 2 Kicker and Punter Review

Updated: May 26, 2023

Week 2 of the 2022 NFL Season is in the books! Who played well and who was in contention for the smelliest specialist? In case you missed Week 1, Stinkers and Studs will be a (hopefully) weekly article where I will do my best to round up my top (and bottom) performers from around the NFL and present it to you in a more bite-sized format. Without further ado, let’s discuss who was a Stud and who Stank in Week 2 of the 2022 NFL Season;

 

Stinkers


1. Cade York – Kicker – Cleveland Browns – 1/1 FG – 3/4 XP


Last week Cade York made our list for being a Stud. This week he will experience a fall from grace. After completing two extra point attempts in the first half, the Browns were looking to Cade York to have a big second half to help them win against the New York Jets. In the Third Quarter, he managed to make his only field goal attempt from 22 yards out. He also came back out in the Fourth Quarter to make a third extra point attempt. This is where things went south. With the score sitting at 24-17 for the Browns, Nick Chubb ran in a 12 yard touchdown and York trotted out onto the field for a routine extra point attempt, or so we thought. Cade lined up and launched the ball wide right of the uprights with 01:55 left in the game. The score sits at 30-17. Unfortunately for York, this miss would prove fatal, and the Jets were able to rally for an incredible 31-30 comeback after some special team magic of their own. That extra point was the reason the Browns lost in the Dog Pound.


2. Younghoe Koo - Kicker – Atlanta Falcons – 1/2 FG – 2/2 XP


Picture this: the Atlanta Falcons are down 28-3 in the Third Quarter. You heard that right, the same haunted score that has plagued NFL teams ever since the historic Super Bowl LI Comeback against the Falcons. While Younghoe Koo did his job in the first half of the game and nailed a 26 yard field goal to ensure the Falcons wouldn’t get skunked, he also missed what should have been a routine 44 yard field goal. Atlanta wasn’t done there though, as they surmounted the odds and came back to score 3 touchdowns (With 2 extra point converts by Koo) to make the score 31-25 for the Rams. After a Safety for the Falcons, the score sat at 31-27. Who’s to say what would have happened if Koo made that kick, personally, I think it would have provided the extra boost the Falcons needed to push back against LA and win the game.


3. Punt Returners – 5 muffed punts


Punt Returners throughout the league had a horrible time this week after they collectively muffed 5 punts. The first came from the Patriots/Steelers game when Gunner Olszewski (PIT) muffed a 37 yard Jake Bailey (NE) punt. The Patriots would go on to score a touchdown on that drive. The Next was late in the first half of the Seahawks/49ers game. Xavier Crawford (SEA) muffed a 46 yard punt by Mitch Wishnowsky (SF). The 49ers would also score a touchdown off the recovery. The third muffed punt appeared when Bears punter Trenton Gill launched a 42 yard punt to Packer’s returner Amari Rodger, who muffed the punt before recovering it for Green Bay. This brings us to the last game where a muffed punt happened. Bills Punter Sam Martin is a nightmare for returners. He proved this by forcing not 1, but 2 muffed punts. First, a 38 yard punt was muffed by Tennessee returner Kyle Phillips. The Bills would go on to score a field goal off the recovery. The second was a 56 yard punt that was muffed by Amani Hooker. This was luckily recovered by the Titans, but the damage was already dealt.

 

Studs


1. Matt Ammendola – Kicker – Kansas City Chiefs – 2/2 FG - 3/3 XP


After the ankle injury to Chiefs starting kicker, Harrison Butker, Matt Ammendola was brought up from the practice squad to fill the role. After not kicking since December of 2021, he took to the field. After two successful PATs in the First Three Quarters, the score was sitting at 17-14 for the LA Chargers. He came out in the Fourth Quarter to kick a 19 yard field goal which tied the score and was able to knock through a third PAT after a Jaylen Watson pick-six. He then came out with 03:20 left on the clock and knocked through a 31 yard field goal which put the final nail in the coffin for the Chargers and secured a win for the Chiefs.


2. Braden Mann – Punter – New York Jets – 4 Punts – 47.3 Avg. – 2 In20Y


After a rough Week 1, where Braden was in contention for Stinker of the Week, Mann was able to turn it around and turn it around he did! His first punt came after the first drive and was a clean 50 yarder which was caught fairly at the Cleveland 10 yard line. His next punt was a beautiful 48 yarder that went out of bounds at the Cleveland 5 yard line. His remaining two punts were not as effective at flipping field position as the first, but his punting statistics are not the reason he is a Stud of the week. Early in the game, the Jets were facing a dire 4th & 2 at the New York 46 line. Braden Mann came out to punt but instead faked and completed a 17 yard pass for a first down! The Jets would use this momentum to drive down the field and score their first touchdown of the game. This fake punt was the New York Jets' first successful fake since the 2017 NFL Season and allows Mann to brag about a 118 Passer Rating. After a 2-play, 75 yard drive with 01:55 left in the game the score was sitting at 30-24 for the Browns. Thankfully, Cleveland managed to do what they do best, implode. Braden lined up for an onside kick of historic proportions and the Jets actually recovered it! It was the first successful onside kick since 1972 for New York! The Jets then marched down the field with just 1 minute left in the game and scored a touchdown (and a Zuerlein XP) to win the game 31-30. It is for this reason that Braden Mann is one of our Studs of the Week.


3. Graham Gano – Kicker – New York Giants – 4/4 FG – 1/1 XP


It was a field goal bonanza during the Carolina Panthers/New York Giants game. While Eddy Pineiro (CAR) had himself a game, Graham Gano just played better. He had been with the Panthers from 2012-2019 where he was prolific. He started his night strong in the First Quarter with completions from 33 and 36 yards out. After the Third Quarter, the score was tied 13-13 after Gano was able to knock through his lone extra point attempt. Gano started the Fourth Quarter with a 51 yard bomb to push the Giants ahead by 3 points. After a game-tying field goal by Carolina, the Giants got the ball back with 10 minutes left in the game and marched down the field to let Gano attempt a 56 yard field goal. Spoiler alert, he made the kick! The Giants' defence then stuffed Carolina to secure the win. What a performance by Gano against his old team!

 

Thank you for making it this far in my article! Please make sure to let me know what you think. -Big Ups to everyone on Twitter who continues to post great Specialist content. I couldn't do it without you :)

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