By: Colby Guy
Jason Sanders is doing unprecedented things this season for the Miami Dolphins, snapping numerous records in what must be the best season the Dolphins had ever seen from a kicker, yet he has gone under the radar this season.
Sanders is now 8-for-8 on field goals from 50-plus yards this season, hitting 12 total field goals from that distance in his career. He is the most accurate kicker from 50 yards out since at least 1991, with an 85.7 field goal percentage.
He has hit ten straight field goals from 50-plus yards and his eight successful field goals from that length are the most in the NFL.
Earlier in the season, Sanders also broke the Dolphins record for most field goals hit in a row with 22, breaking Olindo Mare’s record of 19 set in 1999.
With that all being said, Sanders should be far-and-away the best kicker in the league this season, but why isn’t he first place in Pro Bowl votes?
As of right now, Rodrigo Blankenship holds the AFC lead in Pro Bowl votes with 44,865, but Sanders is clearly having the better season.
Blankenship has currently hit 23 of his 26 field goals, netting an 88.89 field goal percentage, but the big red flag with him is that his furthest field goal is from 44 yards.
Sanders is having a much better season in every single category, making 24 of his 25 attempts with a 96 field goal percentage. His longest field goal of the season was from 56 yards.
So with all of that being said, why isn’t Sanders getting more national attention? Is it because he is on the Dolphins or is it because not a lot of fans give the kicker position a lot of praise?
With the Dolphins previously being one of the league’s most mediocre teams, fans have typically given their attention to other teams, and they have been flying under the radar in the national media this season.
They have exceeded expectations in every possible way this season, and Sanders has been a huge part of the Dolphins’ success.
With Sanders being so automatic from deep, he has kept the Dolphins in games at times when the offense can’t get anything going, and it has shown numerous times.
The most prime example of Sanders winning a game for the Dolphins came in week nine, where Sanders drilled a 50-yard field goal after a stalled offensive drive to put the Dolphins up 34-31 with 3:30 to go in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins’ defense would force a missed field goal from Zane Gonzalez and the score would hold.
Sanders also kept the Dolphins in the game when they faced the Seahawks, albeit in a loss when he hit all five of his field goals. The Dolphins would lose 31-23, but he made it a game, as the Dolphins trailed 17-15 early in the fourth quarter, with all 15 points being Sanders field goals.
Sanders’ list of accomplishments this season is long and he is easily the most valuable kicker in the league, but the fact he isn’t in the lead in Pro Bowl votes just boils down to the fact that fans don’t care.
Blankenship might very well be in the lead for Pro Bowl votes because he wears glasses and he looks funny, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that Sanders is the best kicker in the league this season.