Younghoe Koo came to Atlanta without an inspiring track record in the NFL, which unfortunately tends to doom even talented kickers to permanent free agency. After the Chargers gave up on him quickly, he bounced around to practice squads and training camps, but the Falcons had taken multiple looks at him this year with the uncertainty surrounding their kicker position. When they finally signed him in the wake of the Matt Bryant cut, the hope was that his strong leg and sterling college and AAF kicking track record would mean good things for a team that is suddenly very shaky on special teams.
Fortunately for Koo and fortunately for us, it worked out beautifully. He drilled all four of his field goal tries (with a long of 48 yards) and both of his extra point attempts as the Falcons stomped their way by the Saints, putting up 14 of their 26 points on the day. That was good enough to earn him not just the appreciation of fans and teammates, but also NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
Weekly Honors— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 13, 2019
Offensive: QB Lamar Jackson, BAL
Defensive: S Jamal Adams, NYJ
Special Teams: K Jason Sanders, MIA
RB Dalvin Cook, MIN
Defensive: DE Jadeveon Clowney, SEA
Special Teams: K Younghoe Koo, ATL
Koo, 25, becomes the first NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Atlanta since none other than Giorgio Tavecchio, the last presumptive long-term kicker for Atlanta. He snagged that honor in Week 7 of the 2018 season in relief of Matt Bryant. The legendary Bryant, of course, won the honor in 2017, 2016, 2014, and 2010.
It’s a damn fine start for Koo, who is young enough and good enough to lock up this position over the long haul. After the team’s disastrous handling of Bryant, Tavecchio’s collapse, and the uncertainty that followed those things, it’d be nice to not worry about kicker again for a long, long time.