Projecting who will win the Carolina Panthers kicking battle

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Matt Ammendola
(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Matt Ammendola /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye /

Joey Slye – Carolina Panthers K

Following Graham Gano’s leg injury in 2019, the Carolina Panthers called up undrafted rookie Joey Slye out of Virginia Tech. A player with a cannon strapped to their leg but with accuracy never topping 80 percent during his college career.

Slye also showed a concerning trend during three of his four college campaigns, which resulted in an accuracy percentage of 71.4, only cashing in on 15 of 21 attempts during his senior season in 2017.

After being thrown into the NFL fire in 2019 Slye performed admirably, especially from range. The long bomber made eight out of 11 attempts from beyond 50 yards that season and showed the potential to potentially be a historic long-distance kicker.

However, Slye’s overall accuracy topped out at only 78.1 percent in 2019 and the rookie struggled at times with extra points.

Fast forward to the 2020 season and that long-distance accuracy seemed to go on vacation. Only one of his attempts from 50+ split the uprights. But this statistic needs to be put into context.

Slye missed a game-tying, record-breaking, 65-yard attempt against the New Orleans Saints by just about the smallest margin one can think of. Another miss came with two seconds left against the Kansas City Chiefs and that one was from 67 away.

On the other hand, Slye missed a 54-yarder at the end of a loss to the Minnesota Vikings and also failed to convert a 51-yard attempt earlier in the previously mentioned Chiefs game.

A real mixed bag from deep last season. However, Slye’s overall accuracy improved, going up to 80.6 percent. This was good enough for 24th in the league and if you take away those extreme distance kicks that number would look even better.