Is NFL kicking really that bad?

Washington Redskins placekicker Dustin Hopkins reacts after missing a 34-yard field goal in overtime against the Cincinnati Bengals at Wembley Stadium in London. The Redskins and Bengals tied 27-27.

Story highlights

  • Missed kicks have contributed to the two NFL games this season that ended in a tie
  • All but three teams have missed at least one field goal this season

(CNN)These days, it's not the best time to be a kicker in the NFL.

Take Sunday in London, when the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals ended in a 27-27 tie.
    Washington had the opportunity to win with 2:13 remaining in overtime, but kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 34-yard field goal attempt wide left. He also missed a 55-yard attempt at the end of the first half.
    Hopkins wasn't the only kicker at Wembley Stadium who had a bad day. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed from 51 yards in the second quarter. He also missed an extra point try in the third quarter.
    "Obviously I am disappointed in my execution of what I am supposed to do, " Hopkins said, according to USA Today. "Especially when you have got guys in here who put everything on the line for longer than a normal game."
    Kickers can't hide. As the popular refrain goes, they have one job. And when it doesn't go well, it's magnified.
    "There's no C grade in kicking," retired NFL kicker Ryan Longwell told Bleacher Report. "It's either an A or an F. It's pass/fail, and there's nothing like it."

    Kicking meltdowns

    There have been several notable kicking mishaps so far this season.
    A week ago, the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals finished the night tied 6-6. The kickers on both teams had opportunities to help their side win, but each came up empty.
    First, Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro had the chance to give his team the W with 3:26 remaining in overtime, but his 24-yard attempt clanked off the left upright.
    "From that distance, you shouldn't miss that in this league," Catanzaro said. "No excuse."
    Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro looks on after missing a field goal in overtime against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium. Seattle's kicker, Steven Hauschka, missed as well, and the game ended in a 6-6 tie.
    But miss he did, and so did his opponent. Seattle's Steven Hauschka was no good on a 27-yarder with 7 seconds left.
    "It is disappointing," Hauschka. "We work hard to make those kicks all season long. It is disappointing that one didn't go well. I feel like I let the team down."
    A few other kicking meltdowns this season:
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo -- who was drafted in the second round after the Buccaneers traded up to get him -- has struggled mightily this season, hitting just seven of 12 field goals. He's also missed two extra points, including one on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. In that same game, Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed two of three field goal attempts.
    • New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, normally automatic, has missed two extra points and three field goals this season. Before he missed those extra points, he was 515 for 516 in his career.
    • Cody Parkey, who the Cleveland Browns had just signed a day before their game against the Miami Dolphins, missed three field goals, including a 46-yarder that would have been the game winner, in an overtime loss in Week 3.
    Seattle Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka (4) reacts to missing what would have been a game-winning field goal against the Arizona Cardinals on October 23. The game ended in overtime in a 6-6 tie.
    Why is this happening? It's hard to say. In some cases, it could be a kicker's version of the yips. It also could just be a fluke. Take Gostkowski and Hauschka, for instance. According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, they are still the third- and fourth-most accurate kickers of all time despite recent woes.
    "(Gostkowski) is one of our hardest working players, and I'd say one of the most respected players on the team because of the way he does work and how team-oriented he is," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said after Gostkowski's struggles. "Whatever we've asked him to do, whether it be the training things or kickoffs or situations, the amount of field goals where we've multiple holders and snappers over the course of his career. He does a great job of working with those guys and just working to make the operation better and more consistent."
    Said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll on Hauschka after the tie against the Cardinals: "He has been making kicks for us for years. I love him and he's our guy."
    Parkey didn't have the chance to work with long snapper Charley Hughlett and placeholder Britton Colquitt until pregame warmups. He hasn't missed a kick since that Dolphins game.

    Model of consistency

    It hasn't all been bad.
    This season, three teams remain perfect on field-goal attempts: The Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore Ravens. Four more teams -- the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants -- have only missed one field goal attempt. Comparatively, no team last season finished the season perfect.
    As for extra points, 12 teams have a 100% execution rate this season. At the end of the 2015 season, five teams finished without a blemish.
    Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri connects on a 33-yard field goal against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. It was the 43rd consecutive field goal for Vinatieri, an NFL record.
    And there's been a bit of history: Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri recently set the NFL record for most consecutive field goals made, a run that dates back to September 2015. On October 23 in Week 7, Vinatieri was good from 33 yards in the third quarter.
    Of the 43 in a row, 22 of them have come from at least 40 yards, and nine of them have been from 50 or longer. Not bad for a guy less than two months from his 44th birthday.
    "You know, age to me is nothing but a number really," Vinateri said after breaking the record. "Honestly, I'm a fairly competitive guy. I like surrounding myself with the young guys in the locker room and I take it to heart like everybody else does. We all want to do our job. We all want to do our job well and, you know, sometime the ball flies well."