The Cincinnati Bengals surprised and upset many fans on Saturday by waiving rookie kicker Jake Elliott and selecting Randy Bullock as the team’s kicker this season.
Elliott is a candidate for the practice squad if he clears waivers.
The Bengals have maintained all summer that the kicking competition was real, despite the team drafting Elliott in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, making him the first kicker selected this year.
The next kicker selected was Zane Gonzalez in the seventh round, who has gone on to win the Cleveland Browns’ kicker job.
By looking at the numbers, Bullock clearly won the Bengals’ kicking competition. He was near flawless in training camp and had one miss in the preseason, a 47-yard attempt in Thursday’s preseason finale in Indianapolis. Meanwhile, Elliott had three misses in the preseason (two if you ignore the 60-yard attempt) and was far worse in practices, too.
According to Bengals.com, “Bullock outkicked Elliott by 15 percentage points” in training camp. It’s thought Bullock missed about one kick in practice all summer while Elliott missed at least four.
"There's a lot of data, a lot more data than you're aware of,” head coach Marvin Lewis said after roster cuts were made. “So we have to go by that or else there's no reason to keep track of everything we do.”
The kicking competition was in fact real and Bullock was the winner. Interestingly, Lewis said that if “it was anything close” Elliott would have won the job, noting just how far superior Bullock was all summer.
“Obviously if it was anything close, Jake would have won the job," Lewis said. "Every kick has been charted. We felt like Randy has won the competition."
Bullock did in fact win the competition and now the Bengals will hope they made the right call on making him their kicker. The biggest knock on Bullock is his ability to make kicks under pressure as he failed to convert a game-winning attempt against the Houston Texans last year and his lone missed field goal of the preseason occurred with less than two minutes to go in the preseason finale and with the Bengals trailing by one.
Were the Bengals right to choose Bullock over Elliott?
This poll is closed
Neither was the right kicker.
Bring back Ochocinco!