The curse lives. For the third year in a row, the Titans have started the regular season with an issue at kicker. Former Penn State standout Sam Ficken was set to open the year as the team’s kicker, but was placed on injured reserve just days before the regular-season opener.
Forced to replace Ficken for at least the first three games, the Titans promoted former Chargers kicker Michael Badgley from the practice squad to the active roster. He responded with an awful performance on Sunday.
Knowing how this thing has gone for the Titans over the past few years, did you have any hope for Badgley when he stepped on the field to try his first extra point of the day? Badgley pushed it right, and so it began.
Badgley would then come out for a 46 yard attempt near the end of the second quarter. It was fourth-and-1, and it was a terrible decision to kick the field goal by head coach Mike Vrabel. For one, the team needed seven there, and the down-and-distance was manageable. Secondly, what about Badgley’s missed extra point gave you confidence he would make a kick from nearly 50 yards out? As you probably suspected he would, Badgley would miss the kick.
The Titans offense failed to move the ball with any consistency on Sunday, so Badgley would find little opportunity from there on out. He would come out for one more extra point attempt, and he made good on it. Still, 0-for-1 on field goals and 1-for-2 on extra points isn’t going to cut it.
Asked about Badgley’s struggles, Vrabel would put it plainly.
“That’s just the way it goes in this league,” Vrabel said. “We’ll re-evaluate that position in the morning.”
Ficken, the starting kicker, has to unfortunately miss at least two more games. That’s the best case scenario for his return. Regardless, Badgley should not get a chance to kick in the Week 2 game against Seattle. The Titans have veteran kicker Randy Bullock on the practice squad.
Whether it’s Bullock or another free agent kicker, that doesn’t matter — we know it shouldn’t be Badgley.