All eyes are on the Cleveland Browns tonight as they attempt to win their first NFL game since Christmas Eve of 2016. It certainly looks possible because they’re playing the New York Jets, hardly worldbeaters themselves.
Another factor that could lean in Cleveland’s favor is the fact that they’re going with a new kicker. Cleveland cut second-year kicker Zane Gonzalez on Monday after two-straight games in which he missed kicks that caused the Browns not to win the game. In the season opener, he missed a game-winning field goal as time expired in overtime, leading to a tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last week, he missed two field goals and two PATs in a 21-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints. That’s some heartbreaking stuff for Gonzalez, the Browns players and Browns fans.
Now, however, the team is thrusting kicker Greg Joseph into the spotlight. It might be a case of the grass being greener on the other side but this undrafted rookie from FAU got an extremely warm welcome from Browns fans Thursday night during warmups just for demonstrating that he could kick a field goal properly.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 20, 2018
— Kevin Barry (@KevinBarryWEWS) September 20, 2018
Of course, if he ends up missing one of those in the actual game, that standing ovation is going to turn into a chorus of boos really quick.
Joseph, who is FAU’s all-time field goal leader, spent training camp with the Miami Dolphins put lost out on that job before the season started. Meanwhile, if the Cleveland Browns end their losing streak because of a Joseph field goal tonight, they’re probably going to build him a statue by Monday. Also, he’s probably going to get a killer Bud Light endorsement.
Feast or famine. Such is the life of NFL kickers.