The Arizona Cardinals are gonna need better results from Phil Dawson for him to be considered an upgrade over 2016’s kicker
It’s true that new Arizona Cardinals’ kicker Phil Dawson booted a game-winning field goal for the club this past Sunday. There’s no denying that fact. The veteran’s 30-yarder in overtime saved the Cards from what would’ve been a disastrous defeat at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts.
But a closer look into this past weekend’s contest reveals something else. Dawson, in fact, was painfully close to being the most unpopular Cardinal on their flight back to Phoenix on Sunday night. Placekicking, especially in the NFL, can be one of the loneliest professions in the world.
With just seconds to play in regulation, Dawson had shanked a 42-yard three-pointer. In a domed stadium and on artificial turf no less, perfect conditions for a kicker. At that moment, Dawson was a major goat, having blown a golden opportunity for his teammates to escape Indy with their first victory of 2017.
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It would take a “Honey Badger ” to save the19th-year professional’s day. Tyrann Mathieu intercepted Colts’ quarterback Jacoby Brissett in the extra stanza, giving Dawson a shot at redemption. This time his attempt split the uprights, a 30-yarder that turned the possible goat into a week two hero.
In his two games with Arizona, Dawson has already missed two field goals. In 16 appearances with the San Francisco 49ers last season, Dawson missed just THREE field goal attempts. His first failure of this young campaign was 32-yarder that doinked off the goalpost last week in a road loss to the Detroit Lions.
The long-time Cleveland Brown owned a career field-goal success rate of 84.5% at the time he signed with the Cards back in March. He was a replacement for the jettisoned Chandler Catanzaro, who had missed 11 kicks in ’16. After their experience with the “Catman”, Dawson was obviously brought to the desert because of his superior accuracy.
The hope is that Dawson will be money from here on out. Perhaps he’ll find a groove that will render this article pointless. For the sake of the Cardinals, here’s hoping that is indeed the case.