49ers Rocky Special Teams May Be Called Upon to Win Super Bowl
The San Francisco 49ers may have to rely on a unit that has struggled in recent weeks in order to win their sixth Super Bowl. The special teams unit led by rookie 24-year-old kicker Jake Moody, may just have to figure it out rather quickly.
Moody, the former Michigan Wolverine 2x Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year (2021, 2022), was drafted in the third round and has had a rocky rookie campaign. Moody has made 21 field goals and attempted 25. He has an 84% field goal percentage and scored 121 total points with his longest field goal being 57 yards, securing the longest successful kick by a rookie kicker.
While these statistics do not seem that bad from a rookie kicker just trying to figure out the new environment and conditions of the NFL, the last three games have been extremely rough for Moody. He missed at least one field goal attempt and/ or extra point in all three games.
Jake Moody has missed 3 of his last 4 kicks pic.twitter.com/XtYlNbagb7
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 29, 2024
Every time Moody attempts a field goal or extra point, fans just have to hold their breath, which is not a fun thing to witness as a sports fan. With the Super Bowl on the horizon, the special teams units for both teams will have to lock in as the game may just come down to a field goal attempt in some way or fashion (tie or game winning attempt).
Comparing the 49ers’ special teams, specifically the kickers, to the Kansas City Chiefs is night and day. The Chiefs have kicker Harrison Butker, who has cemented himself as a top-tier kicker in the NFL.
Butker’s statistics are much more reliable and steady compared to Moody. He has made 33 field goals and attempted 35 in the regular season, a 94.3% field goal percentage. In the post season he has been Mr. Automatic going 7 for 7. He is 4-4 on field goals that are in the range of 20-29 yards, 1-1 on field goals in the 30-39 range, 1-1 in the 40-49 range, and then 50+ he is 1-1. The Chiefs certainly have the upper-hand with Butker and their kicking game.
Chiefs Last 5 Games:
Week 16 – Bengals – Win: 25-17
Week 17 – Los Angeles Chargers – Win: 13-12
Wildcard – Miami Dolphins – Win: 26-7
Divisional – Buffalo Bills – Win: 27-24
Championship – Baltimore Ravens – Win: 17-10
All of these football games have come down to field goal and extra point attempts in order to either tie or win at some point in the contest. Butker’s ability to make difficult attempts seem easy has really made the struggling Chiefs offense put points on the board.
49ers: Mitch Wishnowsky
Regular Season Net: 42.7
Postseason Net: 41.8
Career Net: 42.5
Chiefs: Tommy Townsend
Regular Season Net: 41.8
Postseason Net: 38.0
Career Net: 44.5
The punting winner for this season would have to go to the 49ers and Wishnowsky due to his statistics slightly favoring him over Townsend.
If the 49ers want to hoist their sixth Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, it will have to be due to a decent outing from both kickers, especially Moody. The Chiefs just have to get into field goal range and Butker should be automatic, even on the biggest stage as he has been there before. This will be Moody’s first Super Bowl and the pressure of the game may just be too much for him.