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)
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PITTSBURGH, PA – DECEMBER 02: Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with Virgil Green #88 after kicking the game winning field goal to give the Chargers a 33-30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – DECEMBER 02: Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with Virgil Green #88 after kicking the game winning field goal to give the Chargers a 33-30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Michael Badgley vs the NFL’s most accurate kickers

What do Justin Tucker, Robbie Gould, Stephen Gostkowski, Wil Lutz, and Nate Kaeding have in common? They’re among the 10 most accurate kickers in NFL history. Here’s how their rookie seasons played out (field goals):

  • Justin Tucker: 90.9 percent
  • Robbie Gould: 77.8 percent
  • Stephen Gostkowski: 76.9 percent
  • Wil Lutz: 82.4 percent
  • Nate Kaeding: 80.0 percent

If it’s not clear by now, Badgley’s rookie season was incredible. At a field goal conversion percentage of 93.8, he had a more accurate rookie season than any of those mentioned above.

Now, the detractor will always be number of attempts. At just 16 field goals attempted, there isn’t as large of a sample size as those who had to attempt 20-30 in their first year. But having watched Badgley set a franchise record for field goals made in a postseason game, many fans wouldn’t bet on him missing much even if his attempts were doubled.

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Badgley is one of the best stories to emerge out of the 2018 season, and has a fan base once starving for stability at the position now buying his jersey and praising his name. Michael “Money Badger” Badgley had a rookie season that was significant at both the franchise and league level, one that should be mentioned along with other Chargers greats as one of the best inaugural seasons in team history.

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