The Los Angeles Chargers are going forward with a new (sort of) kicker.
The Chargers are bringing back a familiar face. The team announced that it signed veteran kicker Nick Novak, as he will be replacing rookie kicker Younghoe Koo, who has been waived.
Coach Lynn: "We feel like Nick (Novak) was the best choice for our team. Nick has been an accurate kicker for a long time."
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) October 5, 2017
I anticipated a move a few weeks back after Koo missed a game-winning attempt against the Miami Dolphins, a week after getting a game-tying field goal blocked in the season opener at Denver. The Chargers stuck with Koo the past two weeks, and the South Korean kicker made both field-goal attempts (one in each game) and was perfect on extra points (a combined 4-for-4).
However, the field goals he made were chip shots, and the Chargers were clearly afraid of giving him a chance to kick from further out. When the Bolts hosted Kansas City in Week 3, they decided to punt twice in Chiefs’ territory despite having the opportunity to kick a 50-plus yard field goal. Having zero confidence in your kicker won’t help you win games.
Meanwhile, the 36-year-old Novak last played for the Texans in 2016, hitting 85.4 percent of his field goals. He was the Bolts’ starting kicker from 2011-14 before signing with Houston in 2015. In four years with the Chargers, Novak made a solid 86.3 percent of his field goals and only missed ONE extra point out of 157 attempts. While Novak is known for his accuracy, his inability to kick the ball deep on kickoffs put the team in jeopardy on several occasions.