Last season, the Los Angeles Chargers were one game short of making the NFL playoffs with nine wins and seven losses. Arguably, the Chargers lost at least two games simply due to their inability to convert on field goal attempts that most teams’ kickers would have made.
At the end of the preseason, the Chargers cut veteran kicker Josh Lambo in favor of rookie kicker Younghoe Koo. Lambo ended up signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars and played in the AFC Championship Game while Koo was cut after only four games and three missed field goals. The Chargers would cycle through three more kickers before the season ended. Nick Novak, Travis Coons, and Nick Rose combined to make 17 of 24 attempts.
This offseason, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco decided not to return any of last season’s four kickers and brought in two veteran kickers to compete for the job in former Philadelphia Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo. Sturgis lost his job with the Eagles due to injury and Aguayo famously was overdrafted by the Bucs prior to an objectively disastrous run with them in which he missed 9 of 31 field goal attempts.
The general sentiment heading into training camp was that the Chargers were in a relatively strong position in the kicking game given that Sturgis is a reliable veteran and Aguayo was unlikely to provide much challenge. Sturgis allowed Chargers fans to breathe a sigh of relief after he converted on his first attempt of the preseason, but then he missed his second. The question now is “have the Chargers solved their kicking woes from 2017?” Sturgis’ track record suggest the answer is “yes,” but Chargers fans have to still be nervous as we look forward to game 2 of the preseason.