As if the entire fanbase didn’t already know, Younghoe Koo is one of the best place kickers in the NFL. He was most recently signed to an exclusive-rights deal, which pays one of the best players at his position the league minimum — $850,000. He converted more field goals (37) than anyone in the league this year, and some might point towards the high volume of attempts, given the Falcons’ offensive struggles, as a reason for that. Wrong, Koo had the third-highest (94.4%) percentage and tied with Jason Sanders and Daniel Carlson for the most points (144).
Most impressive about Koo’s leg is his accuracy from deep, kicking a perfect 8-of-8 beyond 50 yards — tied for second with Sanders in the league and behind only Brandon McManus. Other than an untimely miss against the Chiefs, Koo was one of the most clutch kickers in the league. Many fans would suggest Koo benefits from a poor offense, but he leads all qualifiers in field goal percentage over expected on lead-changing kicks over the past three seasons.
Josh Lambo, Robbie Gould, Graham Gono, and Mason Crosby is impressive company for Koo, and the numbers back it up; his leg is elite. Finding a kicker who can convert in situations he should isn’t difficult, but finding one that can convert in situations he shouldn’t is difficult. Koo’s clutch factor doesn’t necessarily get highlighted as much as others because of the Falcons’ lack of success, but no position gets scrutinized more than kickers when they fail, and Koo has been better any.
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