Greg Zuerlein was responsible for all nine of Dallas’s points on Sunday Night in 18 MPH winds. He went three for four, all from beyond 50 yards. For the season, Zuerlein is 10-12 kicking field goals, only missing from 50 yards or longer. He is also 14-16 kicking extra points and responsible for 44 points this season.
Dallas paid Zuerlein a three year $7 million deal to perform in difficult and stressful situations like Sunday night.
Dallas is paying him for situations like when Zuerlein kicked the Rams into the Super Bowl against the New Orleans Saints in 2018 – too bad it seems they won’t even reach a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, the Rams are on their second kicker after releasing rookie kicker Samuel Sloman on Oct. 27. Sloman made 72% of his field goals and 18-21 on extra points and was responsible for 42 points. He’s missed from between the 20 and 29 yards and from beyond the 50-yard line. The Rams acquired their new kicker Kai Forbath from the Dallas Cowboys before Sunday’s game and had an OK day. He made one of his two field goals and both extra points. His only miss was a 48-yard field goal.
Sloman was only perfect in the 30 to 39-yard range, and Forbath has a career 87% field goal and 94% extra point but has not had the same leg since his year with Jacksonville. Zuerlein has maintained his 82% field goal and 97% extra point percentages. The Rams are missing Zuerlein’s almost 70% from beyond the 40-yard line.
A reliable kicker like Zuerlin allows for more risk-taking. His efficiency beyond the 40-yard line means the Rams could send him out there for a field goal instead of going for it or electing to punt the ball away.
If the Rams maintained Zuerlein, they could have sent him out on five punts that could have been a 50 or longer yard field goal attempt and returned 3.5 of those extra points. There were also two instances this season where the Rams lost where a field goal would be a reasonable choice instead of going for it.
Hopefully, Forbath will be the kicker he was when he was with the Washington Football Team.
Featured Image: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images