Do you know the last time the San Francisco 49ers played that solid in Week 1? Neither do I. There’s a whole week when we can talk about good offensive plays and that one boneheaded drive that netted the Pittsburgh Steelers 7 points, but there’s one particular player we have to bring up.
That’s Jake Moody. The winner of Kicker Kombat.
Look, no one can predict what Moody is going to do or the career he’ll have. The comparison made here has been to Roberto Aguayo. A 2nd round kicker pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who would struggle kicking air. So far, it doesn’t seem like Moody will have that career trajectory.
Moody was perfect in his NFL Debut, making all three of his XPs and all three of his field goals, the first rookie kicker to go 3 for 3 or better in a season opener since Justin Tucker. I’ll just leave this here:
#49ers Jake Moody is the first rookie kicker to go 3 for 3 or better on extra points and field goals in season opener since Justin Tucker (3 FGs, 5 PATs) did it in 2012 for Ravens— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) September 10, 2023
We are no longer comparing him to Aguayo or fearing it could be the same result and instead are seeing the ceiling Justin Tucker has. That’s quite a jump. It’s worth noting that Pittsburgh is a difficult place to kick, so the fact he did this, keeping things centered (and not scraping either side of the goalpost like preseason) is promising.
Then there’s this little moment. In his first field goal, Moody lined up to kick and the Steelers called a timeout to ice him, I guess. Once that was over with, several Steelers jumped very early, blocking Moody’s kick. The flag came immediately, but there may have been a mental element to this. I tried finding a video of it but since the play really doesn’t count, it’s scarcely available.
One has to wonder if this was accidental or not. It’s fair to wonder if the Steelers dialed up something intentional to get into the rookie’s head. First there was the timeout before his attempt, then the mentioned. If there ever was a chain of plays that said, “Welcome to the NFL” for a kicker, that may be it.
Here’s the thing though: He drilled it anyways.
So for kicking field goals, Jake Moody did quite well. How was he on kickoffs? Who knows. We didn’t get to see him. Mitch Wishnowsky took care of kicking duties and while Punterville’s hero was serviceable, he rarely could get the ball to the end zone. This may have had a hand in the 30.3 yards per return average the 49ers were coughing up. One of the blemishes of what otherwise was a perfect day.
Well, don’t worry about that because Wishnowsky was just a placeholder. Moody is going to be handling kickoffs. Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers were being cautious due to Moody’s quad injury. So we’ll get to see some kickoff power out of Jake Moody.
But perfect day, and we haven’t even scraped the service of this guy’s leg. I’d say he at least won’t be a massive bust. Kickertown kan kontinue their konstruction.