After losing to the Carolina Panthers with a final score of 24-7 on Sunday, just about everyone agrees that the Detroit Lions have no one to blame but themselves for their first road loss of the season. Although, I put a lot of blame on the Lions lack of offense. It’s safe to say that the Lions lack of offense didn’t fully trump the lack of kicking that they received from rookie kicker Nate Freese, who missed two big field goals in this game.
Now bear in mind that with the final score being 24-7, the Lions still would have lost the game, 24-13, even if Freese had made both field goals. However, that doesn’t change the fact that those two missed field goals, didn’t help the offense early in the game, when the game was still close, which could have had an impact on how the Lions offense approached the rest of the game.
Even though, head coach Jim Caldwell didn’t come right out and say that he plans to add a new kicker or bench Freese. He did open the door and leave fans thinking he might explore his options, when it comes to bringing in another kicker for the Lions.
“That’s one of the things that we certainly don’t make any rash decisions or judgments right after ball games are over with,” head coach Jim Caldwell said after Detroit’s 24-7 loss Sunday.
“We like to be able to take a look at all the parameters. One of the things that we have is a goal to make 100 percent of our kicks. Obviously, every once in a while, there’s a long kick and some extenuating circumstances and things of that nature.
“I think that’s an area that we have to be able to count on.”
Caldwell’s is exactly right when he says that the Lions should be able to expect much better results from the kicking game and count on every field goal being made. it’s just unfortunate that they haven’t received that from Freese, who has missed three of his five attempts this season
Nevertheless, that doesn’t change the fact that Caldwell and his staff have to take some blame here when it comes to Freese. During preseason play and overall training camp, it was clear that kicker Giorgio Tavecchio was the better kicker, as Freese struggled, which included a missed extra point against Oakland in the second preseason game.
However, because the Lions invested a seventh-round draft pick in Freese in the 2014 NFL Draft, I honestly felt like the Lions wanted to keep him in the hopes that he would develop into a good consistent kicker. Which is why they choose him and waived Tavecchio.
While I still think there is a chance that Freese could still be a good kicker in the NFL, seeing that he is only a rookie. It doesn’t change the fact that the Lions may need to go out and sign another kicker in case Freese continues to perform badly.
So, if the Lions are looking for a change or at least some added insurance at the kicker position. They can feel good knowing that there are plenty of veterans available on the market, including Jay Feeley, Alex Henery and Rob Bironas, Connor Barth, Alex Henery, Rian Lindell, David Akers, Garrett Hartley, Neil Rackers, Dave Rayner, Dustin Hopkins and Derek Dimke.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.
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The Lack Of Results From K Nate Freese May Cause Lions To Explore Other Options At Kicker was originally published on wchbnewsdetroit.com