Younghoe Koo was a sensation almost from the moment he arrived in Atlanta. Cut loose by the Chargers after a shaky rookie season, Koo played for the Atlanta Legends in the AAF and spent a couple of weeks on the Patriots practice squad before the Atlanta Falcons snapped him up near the end of October 2019.
Koo drilled four field goals in his first week and hit three the next week, earning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for Week 10, and he repeated that feat again in Week 14. Since then, he’s settled in as one of the better and more reliable kickers in the NFL, but he hadn’t snagged another one of those awards until this past game against the Buccaneers.
#Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has been named the NFC special teams player of the week for Week 7, the NFL announced today. Koo connected on all three of his field goal attempts, including a 51-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to give Atlanta a 16-13 win over Tampa Bay.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) October 25, 2023
He deserved it. On a day where the Falcons scored just one touchdown owing to red zone fumblitis, Koo supplied over half of their points and kicked a 50-plus yarder as time expired to win the game for Atlanta. It was a resounding affirmation of Koo’s ability to work under pressure and general excellence, something that should finally quiet any hand-wringing over Koo’s shaky preseason and two-game season stretch early on where he missed an extra point in Week 2 and field goal in Week 3. Since then, Koo is a perfect 6/6 on field goal tries and (incredibly, look at this dang offense) 4/4 on extra points. His 92.9% field goal percentage on the year is eighth in the NFL.
Congratulations to Koo, who is under contract for the long haul and should be Atlanta’s kicker for many years to come so long as he keeps booting it like this. Until the Falcons’ offense really gets rolling, more games are likely to be decided by his leg.