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NFL Team Makes Surprising Kicker Decision After Bad Loss

Carolina Panthers helmet.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 26: A detailed photo of Carolina Panthers helmets during their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

There were a lot of players held responsible for the Carolina Panthers losing to the Atlanta Falcons yesterday. But one of the most notable was embattled kicker Eddy Pineiro, who missed two opportunities to win the game.

Pineiro missed was most likely would have been the game-winning extra point after the team had scored a tying touchdown with less than 30 seconds to play. Granted, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from DJ Moore pushed the 33-yard PAT to 48 yards, making it a much tougher kick to make.

But Pineiro's second attempt came in overtime, where the Panthers had a chance to win with a field goal attempt even shorter than the initial PAT. He missed that one too.

However, Pineiro isn't going to pay for his two misses with his job - not now or in the immediate future. Speaking to the media on Monday, Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks announced that the team has no intentions of bringing in other kickers for tryouts in the foreseeable future.

“One guy did not lose this football game,” Wilks said, via Augusta Stone of the Panthers' official website. 

In fairness, Eddy Pineiro had pretty much been money on field goals and extra points for the first seven weeks of the season.

He was perfect through the first four games before missing one field goal in Week 5, making him 12 of 13 on field goals and 10 of 10 on extra points in that span.

One bad game from a kicker is tolerable - even the bests ever have missed two kicks in a game. 

But if Pineiro has even one more game like yesterday, the Panthers might reconsider the position.