Week 7 Overreactions: Are the LA Chargers over the hump?
By Tyler Gallagher
Overreaction #4: The LA Chargers need to seek a replacement for Michael Badgley
Michael Badgley’s struggles continued again in Week 7, as he missed an extra point near the end of the first quarter and a field goal in the third.
In recent years, the LA Chargers have struggled to find a kicker, but they thought that they had their man after a great 2018 season by Badgley in which he made 93.8% of his field goals, including a Chargers’ record long of 59 yards.
In 2019, Badgley had a more difficult year. After missing several games due to a groin strain, Badgley had a bit of a tough time coming back, but he managed to get back to 81.3% of his kicks made.
Unfortunately, 2020 has been even worse. Coming in to the game against the Jaguars, Badgley had a horrible 70% conversion rate on field goals. On top of that, it was clear early in the season that Anthony Lynn did not trust Badgley, as he frequently went for it in less than ideal situations that were in long field goal range.
It is fine to have a kicker that you do not trust with long kicks as long as you believe that he automatically makes the short ones. Unfortunately, that has not been the case in 2020 for Badgley.
Could this be a correctable confidence issue? It certainly might be, and the Chargers do not want to move on from a kicker too early again as they did with Josh Lambo, who has been excellent for the Jaguars.
This fact makes it harder to make a kicker change mid-season, as the Chargers likely do not want to lose Badgley. However, 2020 actually provides a unique opportunity to correct this issue.
Rather than being forced to cut ties with Badgley completely, the Chargers have the option to stash Badgley on an expanded practice squad and protect him on a week-by-week basis.
For this reason, the Chargers absolutely need to bring in a kicker to compete with, if not replace, Badgley immediately. At this point, if a kicker performs well in a tryout, I would be comfortable replacing Badgley and putting him on the practice squad.
The Chargers have a chance to turn this season into something meaningful, but that cannot happen if the Chargers continue to lose games on missed field goals and extra points.
Verdict #4: Not an overreaction