Much like the mid-range game in the NBA, one could say special teams in the NFL is becoming a lost art and the Atlanta Falcons need special teams to be special in 2019.
With that, guys like Devin Hester, remember him- record holder for most punt returns, broke it in a Atlanta Falcons uniform, became useless.
The league effectively took the excitement out of kickoffs by allowing them to happen at the 35-yard-line. And unless wind is blowing in the face of the kicker, a professional should be able to put it out the endzone quite easily.
Bryant could easily make the case as the real Matty Ice. He hit the game winner in the last game of the 2018 season against his former team for crying out loud.
But due to money, age, and I’m sure injuries- Bryant missed three games due to a hamstring injury– the Falcons let him walk. The kicker who hit 95 percent of his field goals during his age 43 season. The guy who hit 100 percent of his extra points in eight out of his 10 seasons in Atlanta.
This isn’t necessarily a Matt Bryant appreciation post, but moreso a reminder that the Falcons walked away from consistency and move to a relatively unknown phase during Matt Ryan’s tenure with unsurety at the kicker position.
Not unsure as in who will it be, but more like who is he? Yes, I’m talking Giorgio Tavecchio. The guy who’s name you probably slaughtered during his fill in duty last year. Don’t get me wrong. He balled, relatively speaking.
Five for five on field goals, even draining a 56 yard kick, and eight for eight on extra points. But that’s not saying much when the games he appeared in were relatively meaningless.
So what are we saying? The Falcons offense has to up its efficiency in the redzone and needing scoring situations. The days of sending Bryant onto the field and counting the three points before the snap are over.
It’s on to a much less experienced, much younger, hasn’t-been-asked-to-nail-a-game-winner-on-the-road, kicker.
And as any fan is, Mr. Tavecchio we are wishing you great success.