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Seattle’s kicking games trending in opposite directions

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Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Russell Wilson just led his Seattle Seahawks to a game-winning final drive. Twice.

When Seattle signed Jason Myers to a four year, $15-plus million contract, it signified they were done enduring the madness of the Sebastian Janikowski / Blair Walsh era.

Maybe that’s what they thought it signaled. It’s what we thought it signaled, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Maybe there’s a kicking curse in Seattle.

Whatever the case, Jason Myers is trending down in a bad, bad way.

Myers missed not one, but two field goals against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Neither of them were even 50 yards.

Now granted, these things happen from time to time - the Seahawks have already been the recipient of those darn yellow sticks being too close together against the Los Angeles Rams. However, Myers boasts one of the worst field goal conversion rates in the NFL at the moment. Myers has already missed five field goals this season. That’s tied for third worst with Adam Viniateri and Matt Bryant (both really old). Joey Slye of Carolina has missed six and Robbie Gould of the San Francisco 49ers has missed seven, seemingly just to make sure he’s leading the league in something alongside his teammates. Fun fact: four NFL kickers have yet to miss a field goal this year. Of those, only Justin Tucker actually makes more real money than Jason Myers.

Meanwhile, it could be argued that Michael Dickson had his best game of the season, finally coming back to some of the numbers fans were all used to last year. It’s no secret that Dickson has been struggling through almost the entirety of his sophomore effort. He’s had multiple games averaging yards per punt in the low 40s, and even a 39. Even his touchbacks have been pretty bad (8.57%) if you don’t have a life and enjoy punting statistics. Good is closer to like three percent, if you’re wondering.

However Dickson made the most of his three punts yesterday (all in the first half). He averaged 55.3 yards per punt, his best of the year. His third punt was a ridiculous 63-yarder, which was pretty nice considering Russell Wilson had just danced his way to his own 16 yard line.

Seattle’s special teams have been ripped this year by opponents as well as the media.

Part of it no doubt dates back to the frustration of a season undone by loose cannon Blair Walsh, and Seattle fans are wondering if this is going to be a third straight year of kicking torment.

The other part is the surprising lack of otherworldliness coming from Michael Dickson’s unit. It’s been Dickson’s responsibility much of the time, but even when it’s not, it comes with the territory of a special teams unit dominated by rookies. On any given play the names most likely to come up are Ugo Amadi, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven and Travis Homer. These guys have made some pretty wild plays. From Cody Barton fumble recoveries to Amadi being nearly unblockable:

The bottom line is simply that the Seahawks only have one very good unit right now, the offense. It’s hard to keep winning with one third of a good football team. It’s going to be even harder to keep winning against the murderer’s row that Seattle has yet to face.

Special teams as a whole didn’t make great strides against the Bucs, as coverage was a bit dodgy even with Dickson’s bombs.

But the best case scenario would be for Dickson to have found his stride, the rookies to continue to improve their coverage, and that Jason Myers figures out how to make a kick past 40 yards. He’s actually made every kick this year under 40, which is more than can be said for many around the league. It gives hope that maybe he’s not completely spoiled yet.