Chris Boswell spoke to the media (via the team’s YouTube) after hitting the game-winning field goal in Pittsburgh’s 23-20 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals and said that he doesn’t pay attention to the weight of any particular situation when he kicks.
“I just block it all out. I just kind of stay in my own game, stay in my own rhythm. I don’t really worry about situations, worry about the score, the time, none of that. It plays no variable into my job as a kicker. I just line up the same every time, find the same target every time, and just go at that,” Boswell said.
After missing his first kick in overtime from 55 yards which doinked off the upright, Boswell came back out and was able to hit a 53-yard try dead straight through the uprights. The veteran kicker said the second ball was hit much more cleanly than his first attempt.
“I knew I had plenty of leg. It was just a matter of me hitting a clean ball. And the first one probably wasn’t as clean. It was a little wobbly, ugly ball. And the second one was a really clean ball, Boswell said. “I knew as soon as I hit it, I looked up and saw it was dead straight that it wasn’t moving.”
Boswell was clutch for a Pittsburgh offense that couldn’t get much of anything going. Despite the defense forcing five turnovers, the offense only managed to score one touchdown, a one-yard pass from Mitch Trubisky to Najee Harris. It was Boswell who did the rest, hitting three field goals to help Pittsburgh get the upset win.
It was the second straight regular season game that Boswell won with a walk-off field goal, as in Week 18 of last season, he nailed a 36-yard try to help the Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens. He signed a contract that temporarily made him the highest-paid kicker in the NFL (Justin Tucker’s extension soon passed it), but kicks like the one he made today make him worth every penny to the Steelers.
If Pittsburgh doesn’t have a kicker as reliable as Boswell, they probably lose or tie the game today. Instead, despite playing pretty poorly, they’re going back to Pittsburgh 1-0 with a key win over a division opponent. For Pittsburgh to walk out of Cincinnati with a win in a game where most pundits didn’t give them a chance is important, and while it came at a rather large injury cost, they got the win and will have a chance to go 2-0 against the New England Patriots next week, who are coming off a rather ugly loss against the Miami Dolphins.
Boswell is the guy who gave them that opportunity, and his ability to stay calm, cool and collected even after missing the first game-winning attempt is important. The Steelers are 1-0, and you can thank Chris Boswell.