Yes, you know what time it is. Friday rants aren’t for every week – because frankly – I like to be happy on my Friday’s. But like the rest of Falcons nation, I am hot about Atlanta’s new kicking dilemma.
Over the last nine years, the best kicker in the NFL has arguably been Matt Bryant, and don’t even try and tell me there has been a more clutch one. This man has single-handedly carried us to wins with his monster leg in pressure situations. The first playoff victory of the Matt Ryan era was courtesy of the real Money Matt. The guy is Mr. Automatic, and the bigger the moment, the more accurate he becomes.
But I shouldn’t have to tell you all that; you’ve seen it for the better part of a decade.
I realize all good things must come to an end, and Bryant recently turned 44 years old, but he wasn’t ready to hang it up just yet. The Falcons pulled the plug early on the future Hall-of-Famer because he suffered an injury during last season. Let me remind you, that injury came on a 57-yard field goal that had to be made or the Falcons were going to lose to the lowly Buccaneers. Of course, Bryant made the kick but was forced to miss the following three weeks.
Bryant would return in week 10, missing one field goal the rest of the year and it came at Lambeau Field – one of the hardest places in the league to kick. That was the only attempt he missed all season, making 20 out of 21, which is 95.2% – the highest make-percentage of his career. So of course, Atlanta had to cut him for Giorgio Tavecchio, who has the track record of a blind squirrel finding a nut but made all five of his attempts in Bryant’s place.
I understand the Falcons may have wanted to save a few million, but letting go of potentially the most clutch kicker in NFL history in the middle of your Super Bowl window was never the place to do it, especially for Giorgio Tavecchio. Now, the Falcons are learning the hard way. Bryant may no longer be able to make them from sixty like he used to, but the clutch gene never leaves. From 55 and in, this guy is money in any situation, which is more than you can say about 95% of kickers in this league. And if you’re really worried about an injury occurring, which is kind of ridiculous considering Bryant doesn’t have an extensive injury history, and we’ve seen guys kick until there about fifty, options like Giorgio Tavecchio will still be out on the street looking for a job.
After another porous night for Tavecchio, the Falcons announced they will be evaluating the kicking position. Luckily, Matt Bryant is still available. He let us know that he’s been working too via his Twitter.
— matt bryant (@Matt_Bryant3) August 21, 2019
I have no doubt Bryant is salty about how the Falcons cut him to save a few pennies. As he should be, considering all he has done for the organization. But when push comes to shove, I’m sure a friendly meeting with a couple of “I’m sorrys” tossed around will be all that is needed to mend the fences and bring back the rightful heir to the Falcons’ kicking throne. It’s time to get a new kicker, and you know exactly who to call.