LA Chargers News

Michael Badgley: Just how special was the rookie kicker last year?

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers kicks the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock in the fourth quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers kicks the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock in the fourth quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit
2 of 3
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 09: Kicker Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers kicks a field goal in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at StubHub Center on December 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 09: Kicker Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers kicks a field goal in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at StubHub Center on December 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Michael Badgley makes it permanent

Sturgis would return to kick for the team against the Seattle Seahawks, missing his only field goal, botching two extra points, and even picking up a penalty on his way to being mercifully cut by the Chargers. Badgley would finally get his chance.

The results:

  • 15-16 on field goals (93.8 percent)
  • 27-28 on extra points (96.4 percent)
  • 21.4 yard kickoff return average

Though the Chargers overall have lower numbers due to Sturgis’ misfires, Badgley’s compare favorably those of other teams around the league. His 93.8 field goal percentage and 96.4 extra point conversion percentage would have ranked him fourth and tenth in the league. Though those don’t sound particularly outstanding, his lower number of attempts make the misses hurt his percentage more dramatically than someone who only missed one of say 34 field goal attempts.

More than just a stat-padder, Badgley would go on to provide some of the more sensational performances or be a key factor in some of the biggest games of 2018. Against the Cincinnati Bengals, No. 4 hit a franchise-record 59-yard field goal in what would prove to be a very crucial three-point swing. One week earlier, Badgley nailed the game-winner to hand the Pittsburgh Steelers their worst home loss with a lead in franchise history (after a few tries, of course). But his greatest moment, one that is not talked about enough, came in the playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens.

Michael Badgley out here making history in the first half – Chargers lead 12-0 over the Ravens at halftime.

(via @NFL)pic.twitter.com/1XaiwHzjJk

— PFF (@PFF) January 6, 2019

The Chargers learned from their mistakes from the regular season and took what they were given on offense, turning to Badgley to score three at a time to build what felt like an insurmountable lead against a Ravens team struggling to move the football. Chargers fans are no stranger to postseason collapses by their kickers, but here that wouldn’t happen. A near-perfect 5-6 on field goals (his only miss was a blocked kick), Badgley set the franchise record for postseason field goals made.

facebooktwitterreddit