Mike Vanderjagt: First to Worst, Worst to First

Chris Allen@@ChrisATheTruthSenior Analyst IJune 28, 2008

Put yourself in this situation: You are in the 2005 Divisional Playoffs. You are the kicker for the Indianapolis Colts, facing the Pittsburgh Steelers of January 15th, 2006. Its 21-18 for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and you need to kick this field goal to send it to overtime. You are known as the most accurate kicker in the NFL, and to date you have a  86.5% completion rate, and you haven't missed a field goal at home in the playoffs. And your on the 28-yard line.

Meet Mike Vanderjagt. This is a real situation for him. And as the ball is snapped, he kicks it, and it goes wide right,  missing the 46-yard field goal. And with 17 seconds left on the clock, the Steelers ran it down for the win.

After that, Mike Vanderjagt has not seemed to be the same. He went 72.2% in Dallas the next year. During a game against the Colts, he missed two field goals far right, the same direction he missed in the Divisional Playoffs. Vanderjagt was released and replaced my kicker Martin Gramatica.

Move to June 27th, 2008. Vanderjagt has moved back to Toronto to play for the Argonauts. He is playing his first regular season game since deciding to come back against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Winnipeg. Vanderjagt misses from 31, 29 and 51 yards. He really needs to score in the fourth quarter to help his team win, an he connects from the 49 and 44 yard lines.

Why did I write this article? I just think it is interesting that Vanderjagt can miss a 29 yard field goal and make a 49 yarder in the fourth quarter. Vanderjagt came through late to help his team win the game 23-16.

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