Important Cincinnati Bengals vs. Vikings – No. 3: Evan McPherson – Place Kicker
Any Bengals fan can tell you about their kicking woes. Having a reliable kicker can be a great thing, especially after the rule changes and they moved back the Extra Point line. What used to be a gimme has become a source of frustration for teams, some deciding to turn to the two-point conversion rather than attempting an extra point.
A kicker really used to be a dime a dozen, unless you had a sure-fire kicker who could knock them down from 50+. Now we see turnover from the kicking position more often than what it used to be just 10 years ago.
Now a reliable kicker can be a hot commodity. It seems like McPherson can be that hot commodity for the Bengals.
Playing his college ball at the University of Florida. He was near perfect in his three seasons as the Gators placekicker going 149 for 150 on extra points and 51 of 60 on field goals. McPherson was perfect in the preseason, knocking down five field goals and one extra point with two of the field goals coming from 50+ yards.
If McPherson can confidently knock down 50+ yard field goals, that can take pressure off of the offense. Knowing his range is further, Burrow won’t have to drive as far, squeeze passes into tight spots, attempting to make plays to gain yards just to get into field goal range. The Bengals will be able to walk away with more points being able to attempt field goals rather than having to attempt short punts.
McPherson’s kicking could be a much greater factor than people realize.