The Los Angeles Chargers have made a change at kicker. Gone is their young kicker Tristan Vizcaino and in is veteran Dustin Hopkins.
This move doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been watching the Chargers this season. Vizcaino has been making mistakes all season. While he has been a solid 6 for 7 on field goals, extra points have been a different story.
Vizcaino has missed a league-high five extra points this season. Thankfully, the missed extra points haven’t cost the Chargers a game yet, but it was only a matter of time.
It didn’t take Dustin Hopkins long to find a new home. The Washington Football Team recently cut Hopkins. Hopkins left Washington as the franchise record holder for field goal percentage (84%).
Hopkins kicks touchbacks on 71% of his kickoffs and has missed only two extra points this season.
Chargers Look To Bounce Back
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Chargers were flying high. After a tough week two loss to the now 5–1 Cowboys, the Chargers won three straight games.
People were starting to look at them as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Then came the game against the Ravens. The Ravens beat them 34–6, and a lot of the Super Bowl hype wore off.
People tend to overreact to both good and bad games throughout the season. It’s worth remembering that the 4–2 Chargers are only a half-game back from the first-place Raiders in the AFC West. Also, their only two losses so far were to the 5–2 Ravens and the 5–1 Cowboys.
It’s hard to know what will happen next. Just like it’s hard to know if changing kickers will make much of a difference.
One great thing about the NFL is that you never have to wait long to get a chance to bounce back. After a much-needed bye week, the Chargers will face the 3–4 Patriots on Sunday.