Juuuuuust a bit outside
The 49ers might still be undefeated if veteran kicker Robbie Gould hadn’t injured his quad.
With Gould out injured for San Francisco’s showdown with the Seahawks, the Niners brought in undrafted rookie Chase McLaughlin to handle the kicking duties on Monday Night Football.
McLaughlin was fine in four games with the Chargers earlier this season, connecting on six of his nine field goal attempts. He also made his first three field goals in his Niners debut, including a 47-yard effort in the final seconds to tie the game and send it to overtime.
But a second attempt from 47—this time in the overtime period—didn’t go as well. McLaughlin’s would-be game-winner was way, way off course. I thought for sure it was tipped at the line. But no, he just totally shanked it.
How far off course was the kick? It posed a danger to the people standing all the way off in the tunnel. People standing 30 feet wide of the upright had to duck for cover.
I can’t decide whether my favorite part is the guy in the yellow signaling “no good” with his hands or the guy who says “That’s a draw, right?” (Although, I can’t tell whether he means a draw as in a tie game or a golf shot that turns left to right.)
McLaughlin is going to be looking for another job as soon as Gould is healthy enough to resume kicking. And, unfortunately, a botched kick in a clutch moment like that is something that could hang over his head as teams decide whether to give him a shot. MNF announcer Joe Tessitore said after the miss that “the moment was too big” for McLaughlin. Clearly it wasn’t, though. He had just made a kick from the same distance to tie the game with one second left. That’s just as big a moment. Hopefully the make is just as much of a factor in whether McLaughlin gets to kick in the NFL again.
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