Charch's Week 1 Kicker Rankings

RankPlayer
1
LAR @OAK

Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein is arguably the best kicker in the NFL. Zuerlein only played in 14 games last season due to injury but still made the third-most field goals with 38 and had the fifth-best percentage at 95%. And oh yeah, the Rams scored the most points in the NFL. Last year, Oakland conceded points on a healthy 34 of 40 field goals and 35 of 37 extra points. Oakland had a pretty good red zone defense last year which might account for the Raiders 31st-ranking in field goals allowed, a whopping 2.5 per game. But now that Khalil Mack has been traded to the Bears expect that RZ effectiveness to drop off. -Nik Noble (@Nobull12)
Charch's Rating: 10.00/10

The New England Patriots have faced the Houston Texans two times since January 2017. In their most recent matchup, the Patriots scored a touchdown every time they entered the red zone so Gostkowski only made four extra points. Womp womp. But Gostkowski made the fourth-most field goals last season with 37 (with 93% accuracy rate) and the second-most extra points with 45. The only downfall for playing Gostkowski is Tom Brady who was #1 in red zone scoring percentage last year. Perhaps Houston’s addition of Tyrann Mathieu will help the Texans limit Gronkowski and Tom Brady’s red zone success, providing Gostkowski more opportunities to score.
Charch's Rating: 9.75/10

3
NYJ @DET

The Jets have a stout defense when it comes to kickers, only allowing 1.8 FG attempts per game and one attempt over the final three games of 2017. The Jets are also expected to name Sam Darnold their starting quarterback, where he will start his first game on Monday Night Football. Sam Darnold was a turnover prone quarterback in college, and his chances worsened due to the Detroit Lions new head coach Matt Patricia facing the Jets twice a year for over a decade. This puts Matt Prater in a great spot. Prater made 30 field goals last season, which was good for 12th-best amongst kickers. This game should get out of hand due to the rookie quarterback making his first start in front of millions on Monday Night Football, and Prater should have plenty of opportunities when Matt Patricia releases the hounds on New York’s rookie QB.
Charch's Rating: 9.50/10

4
BUF @BAL

The Buffalo Bills are a train wreck offensively and defensively. The Bills just named the turnover machine Nathan Peterman a starter and their defense gave up a touchdown in the red zone 53% of the time, and the final three games of the season were giving up a touchdown 64% of the time, this does not bold well for Justin Tucker’s field goal opportunities. The Baltimore offense is extremely efficient at home scoring a touchdown 60% of the time so expect the Ravens to score multiple touchdowns in a blowout win. The Bills had the sixth-worst defense against kickers allowing two field goals per game. Justin Tucker faced the Bills in 2016 and went 2/2 on field goals. -Nik Noble (@Nobull12)
Charch's Rating: 9.00/10

5
ATL @PHI

Jake Elliot went three-for-three in last year’s playoff meeting between these two teams, and he’ll look to replicate that “success” on Thursday night. He stands good chance to do so, as the Falcons allowed 2.1 field goals per game in 2017. The Eagles will be without starting quarterback Carson Wentz and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (and Nelson Agholor?), so Elliot could be a little more active than usual. -Nik Noble (@Nobull12)

6
CHI @GB

The Chicago bears recently added Khalil Mack who is a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Assuming Mack has been working out while holding out from the Raiders, and given the fact that Chicago has the seventh-best pass defense, this could help slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense, which would bode well for Mason Crosby. Chicago gave up two field goals a game last season, but those number could increase with the improvements the Bears have made on defense. -Nik Noble (@Nobull12)

7
ATL @PHI

The kick is up, Matt Bryant yells, “Kobe,” and the kick is good! The Falcons fans heard that plenty in 2017 as Bryant made 34 field goals, which was good enough to tie for seventh-best. The Eagles had a good defense against kickers only allowing 1.6 field goals per game last season, but with this game having one of the higher over/unders of the week, Bryant is certainly startbale. -Nik Noble (@Nobull12)

8
TB @NO
9
PIT @CLE
10

The Los Angeles Chargers had one of the worst red zone offenses, converting only 47% of the time. And LAC won’t have Hunter Henry this time around. All this bodes well for Caleb Sturgis, whose season was cut short due to injury last year, but he is poised to get back to form in 2018 in a good offense. The Chargers attempted 2.5 field goal attempts per game when playing at home, and the over on those attempts is not too far-fetched in a supposed shootout. -Nik Noble (@Nobull12)

11
12
DAL @CAR
13
14
JAC @NYG

The New York Giants were one of the worst teams in 2017 when facing kickers. The Giants allowed 2.2 field goal attempts per game. Josh Lambo was nearly automatic last season going 19/20. The Giants are also at a disadvantage given the fact that Tom Coughlin who coached the Giants for 12 seasons is now working for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Coughlin is only two years removed from coaching the Giants and Coughlin would like nothing more than to embarrass the Giants after they ran him out of town. The number one defense in the league will give Eli and the Giants plenty of trouble and provide Lambo with numerous opportunities to score in this one.

15

San Francisco gave up 2.2 field goal attempts per game last season. The Vikings now have a rookie kicker in Daniel Carlson who beat out Kai Forbath for the starting job. Carlson was a career 80.7 kicker in college. Minnesota attempted 2.3 field goal attempts per game in 2017. Minnesota was ranked 11th in offense last season and upgraded their quarterback with the addition of Kirk Cousins. With the addition of Cousins and the return of Dalvin Cook the Vikings could see many more scoring opportunities this season. By the way, the Vikings have the top ranked defense in the NFL, which will make for a potent counterpart to an upgraded offense. -Nik Noble (@Nobull12)

16
17
TEN @MIA
19
SF @MIN
21
23
WAS @ARI
24
JAC @NYG
27
29
TEN @MIA
30
CIN @IND
31
PIT @CLE
32
CHI @GB
43
LAR @OAK
59
NYJ @DET
67
LAR @OAK
77
DAL @CAR