Watch: Third Time the Charm for Falcons at Placekicker This Season
When you’re at the bottom of the NFL with a 3-9 record it can feel like everything has gone wrong with a season. There is one thing that has worked out a lot better than expected for the Falcons this season though. It looks like the team has found their placekicker of the future in Younghoe Koo.
Where the Falcons are right now with Koo is a very different place than they expected to be when training camp started. To help save salary cap space, the Falcons cut all-time leading scorer Matt Bryant and turned the placekicking duties over to Giorgio Tavecchio.
Tavecchio kicked in three games for the Falcons in 2018 and was perfect. He made all five of his field goal attempts, including two beyond 50-yards and added eight extra points. Tavecchio never made it out of training camp though.
As the Falcons prepared to face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, they reached back into their past and brought 44-year old Matt Bryant back to handle the placekicking duties.
It made sense at the time. What could go wrong bringing the franchise’s leading scorer back to the team? As it turned out, quite a bit, especially when the Falcons needed a field goal from beyond 50-yards.
In Week 7 against the Los Angeles Rams, Bryant missed a 50-yard field goal that would have tightened the score to 13-6 at halftime. The following week Bryant missed 51 and 53-yard field goals in the first half. That ended Bryant’s second stint with the team.
Koo wasn’t a stranger to Atlanta fans when the Falcons called on him during their bye week to take over placekicking duties. He made 19 of 20 field goals in his four years at Georgia Southern. He had also begun 2019 by kicking for the Atlanta Legends in the short-lived Alliance of American Football.
In his four games with the Falcons, Koo has made 12 of his 14 field goal attempts and five of six extra points. He also gave the Falcons a chance to beat the New Orleans Saints last week when he successfully executed three onside kicks, with the first called back because of an offsides penalty.
With four games remaining, the 2019 season has been a near total loss. They got the placekicker right though and that’s a win the Falcons can take into 2020.