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Why 49ers kicker Jake Moody will be more consistent in 2024

Jul 7, 2024 at 7:02 AM



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San Francisco 49ers kicker Jake Moody had a rollercoaster of a rookie season. The former Lou Groza Award winner and Michigan standout was drafted in the third round by the 49ers in 2023 and had high expectations placed upon him from the very start.

Moody began his NFL career by going a perfect 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and extra points in the team's week one matchup versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, earning a key rookie milestone. Moody was the first rookie kicker to make three field goals or more since Justin Tucker in 2012. This accolade would not be the first for Moody as he continued to stack different records throughout the season.

Prior to the 49ers' postseason trip, Moody missed a field goal and extra point attempt in the team's 21-20 Week 18 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and the Niners Faithful were extremely worried heading into the playoffs. Moody would end up brushing the mistakes off by finishing his rookie year connecting on 27/33 field goals (includes postseason). He scored 149 total team points, and in a win over the Arizona Cardinals in week 15, broke the franchise record for points scored by a rookie.

Moody ended up achieving these records in 2023:

- Franchise Record: 57-yard successful kick from a rookie

- Franchise Record: Longest field goal made in Super Bowl

- Franchise Record: Most points scored for a rookie in 49ers history (107)

- NFL Record: Longest field goal in Super Bowl history before Harrison Butker surpassed it

- Longest streak of extra points made (53 straight)

Although the 24-year-old placekicker endured a bumpy rookie year, there are many optimistic reasons why he could be much more consistent in 2024.

Experience


Having a full season under Moody's belt will only help him enter year two. Many first-year NFL kickers struggle to adapt to the NFL climate as it is a tough transition. Heading into the league means that there is a lot more at stake, which mentally can exhaust an athlete and make them overthink their techniques and kicking style.

Over the last several years, we have seen many kickers who first enter the league struggle to adapt but slowly become a more consistent weapon for their franchise. For Moody, expect his experience, especially playing at the highest level in the Super Bowl, to only improve his confidence as we head into the new season. This newfound confidence could lead to greater accuracy and consistency in his kicking.

Full Offseason of Preparation


If you think for a minute that NFL kickers during the offseason just sit around and don't practice, you would be completely wrong. Last season around this time, Moody was adapting to the 49ers and their upcoming training camp schedule. He was building bonds with new teammates, getting familiar with the 49ers' facility, and had a lot of extra noise that may have distracted him from his kicking preparation.

A full offseason allows him to focus on technique, film study, and the mental aspects of being a professional kicker for the San Francisco 49ers.

Confidence from Coaches and Teammates


Kyle Shanahan was very honest but supportive of Moody after the team's week 18 loss to the Rams, in which the rookie missed several crucial kicks. Shanahan said, "I mean, it's never good when you miss them, especially having two like that, [including] the extra point. And I think it was his first one inside the 40, maybe all year, but he's had a hell of a year. He's done a hell of a job up to this point and just had a rough day today."

Having the support from coaches and teammates is a must for football players, but it is essential for kickers. The mental fortitude that a kicker must endure in a season is outstanding. When things go right, they are the heroes, and when things go wrong, they are looked down upon like the enemy.

Playing in a full NFL season and building a strong relationship with his coaches and teammates should help Moody be more productive in 2024. While that may seem like a bizarre statement, kickers must get the support or else their game production will greatly struggle. The pressure of being a third-round draft pick will always weigh heavily on Moody, but if he can channel out the outside noise and lean on his support system, he will be in for a breakout sophomore campaign.



What are your thoughts on Moody and his rookie season? Do you think he will take the next step in year two? Why or why not? Let us know in the comment section and answer our poll below.

Poll

  • Will Jake Moody stay consistent and improve his production in 2024?
  • Yes, he improves his production
  • No, he will struggle
  • He will stay the same as 2023 - Up and down season
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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