Hope springs eternal in the NFL offseason. And according to one NFL analyst’s forecast, Chris Blewitt is in store for a season that will make us forget about every clang, double-doink, and whiffed field goal that happened last season.
Mike Clay provides statistical projections for ESPN and has begun sharing his early projections. You can go through his full projections for the 2019 Bears here, but I’d like to take a moment to focus on Clay’s forecast for Blewitt because it’s a bit of an eye-opener:
- 26/30 field goals
- 86.7% field goal success rate
- 36/38 extra points
- 94.7% on PAT tries
Let’s try and put those numbers in perspective: 26 made field goals and 30 attempts each would have tied for the 12th most in the league last season. Hey, that’s not awful! And connecting at an 86.7 percent clip would put Blewitt in a tie for the 17th best mark among the league’s kickers. Sure, you’d like for the Bears’ kicker to strive to be better than average, but this would represent a step up in production from what Cody Parkey provided last year as he made just 76.7 percent of his attempts in 2018. After watching Parkey kick last year, improvement would be certainly welcome.
I suppose the hang-up here might be in that Blewitt has yet to kick in an NFL game of consequence. The lack of experience is something that could make Bears fans uneasy the first time he lines up for a kick in Week 1 against the Packers. But if Blewitt earns his way onto the roster and kicks well, then maybe some of those concerns will be put to rest by the time the season opener rolls around.
We’ll dive a little deeper into the rest of the numbers later, but for now, thinking about how the Bears’ kicking game might not be a disaster has me in a good place.