The Dallas Cowboys performed a virtually excellent sport in opposition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday; properly, aside from one participant. Brett Maher suffered a complete meltdown on an evening the place he missed a complete of 4 additional factors, going simply 1 for five within the Cowboys’ 31-14 win.
The efficiency wasn’t simply unhealthy, it was traditionally unhealthy. With the 4 misses, Maher turned the primary kicker in NFL historical past to overlook 4 additional factors in a sport.
With every miss, it was clear that the Cowboys have been getting an increasing number of annoyed with him on the sideline. By the time he missed his third kick, Dak Prescott was scowling on the sideline whereas Peyton and Eli Manning appeared to be in shock.
Maher appears to have caught a case of the yips. Not solely did he miss his first 4 makes an attempt in opposition to the Buccaneers, however he additionally missed his solely try in Week 18, which introduced his streak of consecutive misses to 5. However, that streak ended within the fourth quarter Monday when Maher lastly made an additional level, which elicited a loud cheer from the gang at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Despite Maher’s historic playoff meltdown, the Cowboys are planning to stay with him for his or her divisional spherical playoff matchup in opposition to the 49ers.
“I imagine within the scorching hand, and I imagine within the yips, completely,” particular groups coordinator John Fassel stated, through ESPN. “And you recognize, you surprise generally the way you get into the yips, and also you surprise generally the way you get again into the new hand. I feel it is hold stepping as much as the road and capturing that factor. We missed a few free throws [Monday] … He had a scorching hand. Let’s face it, he solely missed [six] kicks all season. The yips occur, so I anticipate a scorching hand arising.”
Dallas is including some insurance coverage, nonetheless, with NFL Media reporting that it plans to signal Tristan Vizcaino to the follow squad, pending a bodily. Vizcaino, 26, kicked for the Arizona Cardinals this season with Matt Prater sidelined. In Week 10 versus the Los Angeles Rams, he made each of his discipline objectives and all three of his additional factors. He then joined the New England Patriots, the place he served because the kickoff man in Weeks 13 and 16.
A 2018 undrafted free agent, Vizcaino has made 11 of his 12 profession discipline objectives (47 lengthy) however solely 15 of his 20 additional factors. Still, do not anticipate Vizcaino to see the sector until Maher continues to wrestle.
“We must get him able to go [for San Francisco]” head coach Mike McCarthy added, through NBCDWF. “We want him. He’s been tremendous clutch for us all yr.”
Maher additionally appears to have the help of his teammates.
One particularly supportive teammate was Dak Prescott.
“I’m Money Maher’s greatest fan,” Prescott stated following the win. “I talked to him individually after the sport, simply advised him, ‘Hey let that go, we will want it’ I simply performed like s— every week in the past, in order that occurs. So I imply that occurs. Knowing what that man’s completed, with the resiliency he is proven all through his profession. Personally, little question that he’ll comeback and be excellent and assist us win.”
The Cowboys kicker struggled on additional factors at instances through the common season, however it by no means bought this unhealthy. During the 2022 season, he hit 50 of 53 additional factors, which was good for a 94.3% conversion fee that ranked twenty second for any kicker who tried 15 or extra additional factors.
Although he could not hit from brief vary Monday, Maher has come up clutch a number of instances over the yr and he is had no downside hitting lengthy kicks for the Cowboys. Not solely did he go 9 of 11 from 50 yards or extra in 2022, however he additionally holds the NFL report for many discipline objectives of 60 yards or extra with 4. It’s the brief stuff that is been troublesome.
Since the additional level was moved to 33 yards again in 2015, some kickers have struggled, however they virtually by no means wrestle like Maher did on Monday night time. As a matter of truth, just one different kicker has even missed three additional factors in any sport over the previous seven years and that was Matt Gay, who went 2 for five whereas enjoying for the Buccaneers in a 35-22 win in opposition to the Falcons in November 2019 (Gay now performs for the Rams).
Besides Gay and Maher, you need to go all the way in which again to 1993 to discover a sport the place a kicker missed three additional factors (Roger Ruzek did it whereas enjoying for the Eagles), however nobody else has missed 4.
The upside for the Cowboys is that Maher was the one participant who actually struggled throughout Dallas’ 31-14 win. The Cowboys destroyed the Buccaneers thanks largely to a traditionally massive sport from Dak Prescott, who set a franchise report by totaling 5 touchdowns.
For a full breakdown of every little thing that occurred within the sport, be positive to take a look at our takeaways by clicking right here.
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