History shows Packers' Anders Carlson replacement is bad news for kicking game

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers have learned their lesson: Anders Carlson will have competition this summer.

Free agent kicker Greg Joseph is signing with the Packers, according to his agent Brett Tessler. Joseph has been in the NFL since 2018, spending time with the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Minnesota Vikings.

Carlson didn't face competition at training camp last year despite his inconsistent play, and it eventually hurt the Packers in the most important game of the season. They are committed to making him win the job this offseason, and Joseph has a good chance to replace the second-year kicker.

However, while Joseph offers more experience than Carlson, his numbers leave much to be desired.

Greg Joseph isn't the Packers' answer to kicking game concerns

There's no doubting Carlson's big leg and ability to make long kicks. Inconsistency is the issue. Unfortunately, the same is true for Joseph.

Joseph's career field goal percentage is 82.6, only slightly above Carlson's 81.8. Last season, they both missed six field goals. As Zach Kruse of Packers Wire points out, they were both 7/13 on kicks of 40 or more yards.

Here's where it gets particularly concerning. Playing for the Vikings, Joseph had the benefit of playing the majority of his games indoors. Of his six field-goal misses, three were at Lambeau Field and Soldier Field, and he also missed an extra point in Chicago. Joseph has played three career games in Green Bay, converting only three of seven field goals.

Joseph now swaps the benefits of playing in a dome for nine games at Lambeau Field, where conditions can be challenging due to temperature and wind.

Carlson struggled on extra-point tries, missing a league-high five in the regular season and another in the playoffs. It has been a concern for Joseph, too. On average, he misses one in every 10 extra-point tries. In 2022, he missed six, more than Carlson last season.

Unfortunately, the Packers are learning what life is like without Mason Crosby. This is how the rest of the league feels. Finding consistency at kicker is no easy task, and there is no magic answer. Joseph was the best available free agent, and he will compete with Carlson and any rookies the Packers add to the mix.

Hopefully, the competition will bring out the best in both kickers, but the concern is that the Packers' kicking competition will turn into the Spiderman pointing meme.

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