Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro was named the NFC Special Teams player of the week on Wednesday after going 3-3 on field goals on Sunday in the 30-20 victory over the Washington Redskins. He connected from 33, 37, and 49 yards, all in the second half.
Catanzaro is now 14-14 on the season. Clearly he is not kicking like a rookie and I think now six weeks into the regular season we can remove the rookie status from him. In training camp he was in neck and neck battle with incumbent Jay Feely for the kicking job but Catanzaro was a the clear winner on kickoffs and therefore won the job.
This year though other teams have proven how much trouble they’ve had with their kickers, including rookies. Detroit had troubles with Nate Freese and he was cut after going 3-7 on field goal attempts. Kansas City’s Cairo Santos is 5-7 as it Tampa Bay’s Patrick Murray.
Philadelphia Eagles kicker Cody Parkey is 12-13 but on kickoffs Catanzaro has hit 69 percent of his kicks for touchbacks. Parkey just 57 percent. The Arizona Cardinals certainly found the right replacement.
When you see guys like Cincinnati’s Mike Nugent, Detroit’s Matt Prater, and Carolina’s Graham Gano miss important kicks, it makes it that much sweeter. At some point Catanzaro will miss for sure, maybe on a possible game winner. It will be how he comes back after that is how he should be measured. For now, he can enjoy the special teams honor and keep doing his thing.