You may not be aware that a kicker actually has won the NFL’s regular-season MVP Award: Washington’s Mark Moseley in the strike-shortened 1982 campaign. He’s the only special teams player to ever win MVP. Frankly, it’s ridiculous a kicker won that, but it’s somewhat surprising that none have taken Super Bowl MVP honors. In one game, you can understand.
Could Super Bowl LIII between the Patriots and Rams from Atlanta finally be when a kicker takes home MVP and gets to go to Disneyland? At Bovada, the Rams’ Greg Zeuerlein is +12500 and New England’s Stephen Gostkowski is +15000.
Zeuerlein is a monster – his nickname is “Greg The Leg.’ Another one is “Legatron.’ The Rams aren’t in Super Bowl LIII without him as Zeuerlein sent the NFC Championship Game in New Orleans to overtime with a 48-yarder at the end of regulation and won it in OT with a 57-yarder that looked like it would have been good from 70. The 57-yarder was the longest game-winning kick in playoff history. Zeuerlein’s career-long is 61 against the Minnesota Vikings in 2015.
“That field goal would have been good from 70,’ Rams QB Jared Goff said of the winning kick vs. the Saints. “It was a bomb. When you have a guy like him out there, the way he kicks it, the way he’s so consistent, you have so much confidence and faith, get within his range and it’s in.’
Zeuerlein was limited to 11 regular-season games due to injury and was 27-for-31 on field goals with a long of 56. In the 2017 season, he led the NFL with 158 points despite missing two more games to injury. The 2012 sixth-round pick out of Missouri Western (never heard of that school) has made 28 field goals longer than 50 yards in his seven-year NFL career.
Gostkowski, meanwhile, made his only field-goal attempt in the AFC title game victory in Kansas City, good from 47. Gostkowski has now converted all 12 kicks he has attempted this postseason (including PATs) and was 27-for-32 during the regular season with a long of 52. In 2017, he was second to Zeuerlein in scoring with 156 points. Gostkowski did cost the Patriots four points in the Super Bowl loss to the Eagles, missing a short field goal and an extra point. He also might have cost his team another Super Bowl trip with a missed PAT in the AFC title game following the 2015 season in Denver. That forced the Patriots to go for 2 at the end of the game, which was no good in a 20-18 loss.
The only realistic way a kicker wins MVP is if he sets a few Super Bowl records and kicks the game-winner at the end – the latter did happen in the last Rams-Patriots Super Bowl. The record for field goals made in one Super Bowl game is four by the Packers’ Don Chandler vs. Oakland in SB II and by the Niners’ Ray Wersching vs. Cincinnati in XVI. The longest field goal in Super Bowl history was by Buffalo’s Steve Christie of 54 yards in XXVIII vs. Dallas.