A fifth-round pick is a significant resource to invest in a kicker. There is no way the Bengals can make that investment, watch McPherson have a perfect preseason kicking field goals including two from 50+ yards, and not make him the guy. Seibert kicked well in the preseason, spent time with the Bengals last year, and could very well be kicking elsewhere in the NFL this year.
But McPherson’s rare long-range kicking ability throughout his career at Florida, training camp, and the preseason has separated him. Is it still possible that he struggles once his first regular-season arrives and the kicks count for real? Sure. But McPherson has earned the job for now.
Kicker isn’t a flashy position to talk about. Still, when you get one with a leg as big as McPherson’s, the possible impact shouldn’t be overlooked. It takes just a single hand to count the current kickers who have shown the ability to add three points from 50 or more yards away with any sort of regularity.
As long as Joe Burrow stays healthy, the Bengals have enough talent on offense to be upset with any drive that doesn’t end in the end zone, but that isn’t realistic. Field goals are going to be part of the equation.
Evan McPherson will greatly benefit Bengals offense
Think about what McPherson’s big leg could actually mean for Cincinnati. If it translates to the regular season, the Bengals won’t need to get much past midfield to feel good about adding to the scoreboard. That should change the way Zac Taylor calls plays and the way teams defend Cincinnati.
Randy Bullock certainly wasn’t that kind of weapon in recent years. Moreover, you could argue the Bengals have never had that kind of luxury at kicker.
The 57-yarder McPherson nailed on Sunday would be the longest in franchise history in a regular-season game. As good as Jim Breech was and as beloved by the fans as he is to this day, he only made six 50+ yard field goals in his entire 13-year career.
There is an old football school of thought that if every possession ends in a kick (PAT, field goal attempt or punt), that team has a good chance to win. If you stop and think about it, punting is a necessary evil for even the most potent offenses at times and a lot worse things can happen. Thus, this logic still holds up today.
McPherson has the ability to lessen the chances of bad things happening to the Bengals while also not making them have to work as hard to score points. That’s the kind of player that helps you win games and is much more than “just a kicker.”