Many are disappointed with Jake Moody’s near miss and are using it as a reason to send the rookie to kicker korections. Yes, Moody is going to need to make these kicks, but some further context on this kick might help a bit. Maybe? Probably not, but let’s look at it anyways.
Weather Applied Metrics is a fun little follow on Twitter bringing how wind velocity and other elements can affect a game. They brought the final Jake Moody kick and showed just how much the wind took over the ball once it left Moody’s leg.
Last kick of the 49ers-Browns game— Weather Applied Metrics (@WeatherApplied) October 15, 2023
Initial kick was headed 0.44 yards from the goal post center. The spin took it rightwards an additional 0.82 yards. The wind pushed it 2.39 yards further right, for a total of 3.64 yards from the center of the goalposts, resulting in a missed FG pic.twitter.com/AS18NuRJyn
So he didn’t just shank it.
When you think about the fact Moody is a rookie kicker that type of experience may just be something he’ll get with more time in the league. That said, if the wind was that bad, why wasn’t Kyle Shanahan calling a play to put the ball on a hashmark to make this act easier? Rather than well, that third down, botch snap prepared scenario? I’m fine with a 41 yarder, and I’m also fine not running the ball again as Kyle Shanahan planned, but I didn’t get why they didn’t burn a down to position it right. The clock management at the end game was more than maddening. If he’s not going to run it for a few more yards , why weren’t they doing something to position this better for their young rookie kicker?
Furthermore, what the hell was Moody doing with his aim? I saw some point out his plant foot was out of whack.
One has to assume special teams coaches were telling Moody where to aim when the wind is going, but if it’s going to grip the ball that much, why wasn’t he aiming more for the left crossbar?
Regardless of all that, these are kicks Moody is expected to make, but perhaps the 49ers coaching staff didn’t make things any easier on their 3rd round pick. Even if we want to shift some of the blame on his coaching, Moody will have some punches to roll with. A few weeks ago we were comparing him to Justin Tucker as the newest hotshot kicker. Yes he had a bad game, but given some of the other kicks he’s made, I don’t think I’m ready to just call in Robbie Gould and say the pick was a waste. Nor am I going to jump on this “He had a bad game, we can’t trust him anymore” nonsense.
The guy was doing just fine as a rookie. Give him a break. Of course some of you think Robbie Gould should get on the phone. Allow me to restate this one more time: 31 other teams didn’t go into a bidding war with Robbie Gould, not just the 49ers. He remains a free agent. There are needs for kickers everywhere. Not a peep for Gould. That might just indicate something.
That said, I get the argument that Gould makes these in his sleep. He also missed the same thing against the Las Vegas Raiders last year in better conditions. Hindsight is always 20:20. I’m not ready to give up on Moody just yet. If he botches a few more of these then there’s an issue.
I mean. Anyone remember David Akers in 2012?