A Little Competition
Yes, it’s true. He’s no Zane Gonzalez but the Bengals sent a message. In fact, Jake Elliott was the first kicker selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. There was criticism towards Cincinnati for taking him over Zane. But, the Memphis product has sparkling stats to prove his worth.
During his playing time with the Tigers, Elliott earned first-team, all-conference honors every year. That alone is worth a look in training camp. His sophomore year was the typical slumpfest and he converted a mere 21 of 32 field goal attempts. But, the Bengals were probably eying his best stat. In four years, Elliott made every PAT. Yes, that’s right. He was 100.0 percent for his career.
After saying goodbye to longtime kicker Mike Nugent, Cincinnati’s kicking game stalled. With the confident Elliott around, the competition should kick into gear. Memories of the nightmarish loss to Houston on Christmas Eve are still lingering with most Bengals fans. The conspiracy theorists are still having a ball with that missed field goal. Hopefully, Elliott will take the fear out of watching a Cincy placekicker line up any attempt.
Before getting overly sensitive about the Jake over Zane deal, look at Elliot’s numbers. He’s a steady kicker with a strong leg. Making them from 50+ won’t be a problem either. According to Geoff Hobson at Bengals.com, Elliott has smashed four of the five longest field goals in Memphis history. Those happen to be in the range of 53 to 56 yards.
It’s time to feel good about the 2017 campaign. The Bengals have their weapons locked and loaded. Now, they have to hit the postseason target.