Heading into Week 18, San Francisco 49ers rookie kicker Jake Moody hadn’t missed an extra point all season. It had been since Week 7 since he had missed a field goal attempt.
The Niners have been rolling offensively, so they haven’t needed to rely on Moody. He hasn’t had a game since the Browns where he’s attempted more than two kicks. To put into perspective how proficient the 49ers offense has been this season, Moody only had three attempts further than 50 yards coming into the final week of the regular season.
In a “What have you done for me lately world,” a percentage of 49ers fans began to worry about Moody’s playoff prospects after he missed a 38-yard field goal that went wide right and then pushed an extra point wide right.
That’s the second time this season where Moody’s kicks are the difference in the game's outcome. Week 18’s contest didn’t matter, but missed kicks at any point over the next three games will be costly.
Kyle Shanahan was asked about his level of concern regarding Moody:
“It’s never good when you miss him, especially having two like that and the extra point. I think it was his first one inside the 40, maybe all year. He’s had a hell of a year. He has done a hell of a job up to this point and just had a rough day today.”
The Niners aren’t pulling the plug on Moody just yet. The follow-up for Shanahan was whether the team would consider bringing in another kicker on the practice squad as a just-in-case for Moody if he gets the yips. Kyle said, “No, he’s been great all year. He was rough on those two today, but no, we’re good with Jake.”
Moody finished the league 20th in field goal percentage, but that gives you an idea of how accurate most NFL kickers are. He only missed four all season and went double-digit weeks in between misses.
But that would always happen when you draft a kicker in the third round. There’s going to be pressure on him to make every kick. And when he doesn’t, these questions will arise. Hopefully, this is the last time we discuss the kicker this season unless it’s for a game-winner.