Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus was under a ton of pressure after the Broncos decided to let go of Connor Barth amid a strong training camp battle. So what did he do?
He came out to the next practice and nailed 10 field goals.
McManus’ confidence went through the roof when the Broncos picked him as their kicker for this season, and that has extended into an excellent first quarter of the year in 2015.
Through four games this season, McManus has already matched his season total from a year ago of nine made field goals. He’s 100 percent on all of those attempts, including three already this season from 50 yards or longer with a long already of 57.
McManus’ leg strength has been evident since he came to Denver. He was kept around last season after getting replaced by Connor Barth strictly to kick the ball off, which has never been an issue. Again this season, he’s kicked 19 touchbacks in 23 attempts, and is 2nd in the NFL only to Justin Tucker’s 20 in that category.
According to Pro Football Focus, McManus (with a grade of +9.6) has been the best kicker in the NFL so far this season.
Not only is he perfect on field goal attempts, he’s also perfect on extra point attempts despite having them pushed back for a 33-yard attempt every time out.
The response to the Broncos’ vote of confidence and a change-up in his mechanics has been nothing short of incredible for the Broncos, who have seemingly once again found a brilliant kicker in a long history of finding some of the best kicking talent in the NFL.
In my lifetime, I can remember watching the likes of the great Jason Elam, followed by guys like Matt Prater, Steve Hauschka (for a brief time in Denver), and Barth who had two games last season where he made five field goals.
McManus has nailed six field goals already this season from 40 yards or longer. He’s proving his worth as a great kickoff specialist as well. The Broncos haven’t had to worry about playing in all of these close games, because McManus has been McMoney in every situation thus far.
Sometimes it goes unnoticed because we expect kickers to do their jobs, but it’s been a really impressive start to the season for the guy that cost the Broncos a 7th round pick in this past year’s draft.
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