Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein scoring at a historic pace, but stays in the moment
By Ryan Kartje
THOUSAND OAKS — In 2011, David Akers put together arguably the best season of any kicker in NFL history. At 37 years old, in his first season with the 49ers, Akers made 44 field goals, four better than the previous NFL record. Only three players in NFL history, all running backs — Ladainian Tomlinson, Paul Hornung, and Shaun Alexander — had ever contributed more points in a single season.
A year later, Akers was cut.
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This is the cautionary tale that Greg Zuerlein offers, when asked about the significance of his extraordinary scoring pace this season. This sobering notion has kept him grounded through most of his career, and even as he has emerged as the unanimous top kicker in the NFL through the season’s first half, Zuerlein refuses to change anything about that approach. He understands how fleeting kicking success can be.
But the truth is that at the midway point in the NFL season, his season thus far isn’t just great. It is historic. At no point in league history has a player scored at the clip that Zuerlein continues to score.
Through eight weeks, Zuerlein is on pace for 198 points — a total that would smash the NFL kicker scoring record set by Akers (167). In fact, that scoring total would dwarf even Tomlinson’s 186-point, 2006 campaign, which set a record for the highest-scoring season in NFL history, regardless of position.
Currently, Zuerlein has no peer among NFL kickers. He leads the league in every major kicking category. He has hit 24 of 25 field goals. He’s made all 12 […]