In his first season with the Cardinals, Jay Feely missed three field goals.
In 16 games.
The kicker has already equaled that number in just three games this season, and his pair of misses Sunday in Seattle proved to be rather costly, especially the 49-yard attempt he left short with the Cardinals down three and roughly five minutes left in the game.
The Cardinals ended up losing the game 13-10.
“Maybe we’re getting them all out of our system early,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said of Feely’s struggles. “But that doesn’t make it any better.”
Whisenhunt said kicker is a tough position to play — and no one is doubting that — but for a guy who was so reliable just one season ago to struggle right out of the gate is a bit concerning.
However, the coach isn’t worried.
“I’ll say this about Jay, he’s mentally a very strong guy,” he said. “I have great confidence that on whatever kick he’s kicking, the next kick is going to go through because I believe in Jay.”
It’s good the coach believes in Feely because fans might start to get nervous if the struggles continue.
That said, the kicker’s issues could be due to a number of circumstances, all of which are really out of his control.
First, the Cardinals cut punter Ben Graham before the season opener in favor of Dave Zastudil. Graham, of course, was the holder on Feely’s kicks, and the change — even if all things seem right — could be an issue.
Former Cardinal Neil Rackers had a similar problem with the team cut Scott Player loose in favor of Dirk Johnson, struggling with his kicks after the change.
Of course, Feely’s issue Sunday may have simply been the weather. Seattle is not an easy place to kick, with swirling winds and a wet football likely playing a role.
Regardless, Feely’s job is to make field goals, and he didn’t come through Sunday afternoon. He’ll have plenty more chances this season, though, and Whisenhunt and the Cardinals are hoping he has, in fact, gotten the misses out of the way.
Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this report