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What was the greatest single season by a Falcons kicker?

Norm Johnson, Morten Andersen, Jason Elam, and Matt Bryant are the options.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Our series looking at the greatest Falcons seasons by positions is winding down to its conclusion. Because special teams is the forgotten about aspect of the game of football (you don’t think about it unless something goes wrong), kicker and punter are the positions that often go last in lists like these.

Today we will debate the greatest seasons ever by Falcons kickers. It’s normally an expectation that the kicker will do his job and convert on the field goal or extra point attempts almost every time he takes the field, but we know that it doesn’t always happen like that.

Let’s honor some of the great Falcons kickers who did their jobs better than most others.

Norm Johnson - 1993

34-34 extra points; 26-27 Field Goals (1-1 0-19; 7-7 20-29; 9-10 30-39; 7-7 40-49; 2-2 50+); Pro Bowl

No Falcons kicker ever came closer to perfection in a single season than Norm Johnson in 1993. In his age 33 season, Johnson split the uprights 60 times in 61 opportunities, setting a Falcons record for highest single season field goal percentage (96.3%) that still stands today.

Johnson also led the league in field goal conversion percentage and became just the third Falcons kicker of all time to earn Pro Bowl honors. He was passed up on being named a First-Team All-Pro selection in favor of Chris Jacke who missed six kicks (but that was apparently overlooked because he was a Green Bay Packer)

Morten Andersen - 1995

29-30 extra points; 31-37 Field Goals (1-1 0-19; 8-8 20-29; 11-11 30-39; 3-8 40-49; 8-9 50+); Pro Bowl; First-Team All-Pro

The Great Dane was at his apex in 1995 after signing with the Atlanta Falcons following an extensive 13-year stay with the New Orleans Saints. What was particularly surprising was his incredible accuracy on long-range kicks, converting eight out of nine 50+ yard FGs in 1995 after hitting only one out of 11 such kicks in 1993 and 1994 combined.

Andersen was second in the league in converted Field Goals and first by far in converted 50+ yard kicks in 1995, becoming the only Falcons kicker to be named a First-Team All-Pro selection in the process. He also dominated the field in total touchbacks and touchback percentage and converted the longest kick of the season at 59 yards out.

Jason Elam - 2008

42-42 extra points; 29-31 Field Goals (11-11 20-29; 7-8 30-39; 10-10 40-49; 1-2 50+)

After the Denver Broncos opted to part ways with him following 15 years of service, Jason Elam proved that they did so one year too early as he showed the NFL that he still had something left in the tank.

The Falcons shocked the league by going 11-5 in 2008, and Elam played his role in that resurgence. Elam had the second-most accurate kicking season in Falcons history (behind Norm Johnson in 1993), missing only two kicks and registering as automatic from the 40-49 yard range.

Matt Bryant - 2011

45-45 extra points; 27-29 Field Goals (2-2 0-19; 9-9 20-29; 9-9 30-39; 5-7 40-49; 2-2 50+)

Bryant was signed as a mid-season free agent by the Falcons in 2009 following a horrific performance by Elam, and that went down as one of the greatest roster moves in franchise history. Bryant’s most accurate season of his career came in 2011, when he converted a league-leading 93.1% of his field goals and all of his extra points.

Matt Bryant - 2012

44-44 extra points; 33-38 Field Goals (1-1 0-19; 8-9 20-29; 10-11 30-39; 10-13 40-49; 4-4 50+)

To be honest, I could list out nearly every season of Bryant’s career in Atlanta on this list of great kicking seasons — he was just that dominant as a Falcon. What made 2012 special was that he broke Jay Feely’s single-season franchise record for most number of converted field goals (and did so at a far more efficient clip). He finished second in the NFL in Field Goals converted.

Bryant was also incredibly clutch in 2012, at no time more so than in the Divisional Round of the playoffs when he nailed a game-winning 49-yard Field Goal to give Matt Ryan his first career playoff victory.

Matt Bryant - 2016

56-57 extra points; 34-37 Field Goals (12-12 20-29; 7-8 30-39; 9-9 40-49; 6-8 50+); Pro Bowl

With the way Kyle Shanahan’s offense was humming in 2016, Bryant got plenty of opportunities to see the field and to make sure the Falcons finished many drives off with points. He broke his own franchise record for single-season converted field goals, and broke the franchise record for most extra points scored in a single season.

Bryant led the entire NFL with 158 total points scored by a wide margin (17 points). He was a key piece to a team that was on the cusp of winning the Super Bowl; had he gotten an opportunity to kick that final Field Goal in that particular game the Falcons would’ve been champions.

Matt Bryant - 2017

35-35 extra points; 1-1 0-19; 6-6 20-29; 10-13 30-39; 9-10 40-49; 8-9 50+)

Bryant was once again effective in 2017, and this time he got plenty of opportunities because the Falcons offense constantly bogged down in the red zone and had to settle for three points. Bryant matched his 2016 franchise mark for most converted Field Goal in a single season.

What was particularly impressive about Bryant’s 2017 campaign is that he was the most accurate long-range kicker in the NFL, leading the league in most converted 50+ yard Field Goal attempts while having the highest percentage of converted 50+ yarders.


Which Falcons kicker had the greatest single season in team history?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Norm Johnson - 1983
    (27 votes)
  • 6%
    Morten Andersen - 1995
    (15 votes)
  • 1%
    Jacon Elam - 2008
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Matt Bryant - 2011
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    Matt Bryant - 2012
    (16 votes)
  • 57%
    Matt Bryant - 2016
    (127 votes)
  • 13%
    Matt Bryant - 2017
    (30 votes)
221 votes total Vote Now