The Detroit Lions officially moved on from kicker Austin Seibert on Friday, turning the page on another chapter of the post-Matt Prater era in Detroit. Seibert’s time with the Lions was most widely known for his beating out Riley Patterson for the kicking job in this year’s training camp, but ultimately Seibert simply couldn’t stay healthy enough to see the field.
Seibert came over from Cleveland in 2021 and would go 10 of 12 on field goals with the Lions through four games, but a groin injury ended his 2021 campaign. That same injury would hinder much of Seibert’s offseason, which I believe was a significant contributor to his shakeness in his limited 2022 action.
They say the best ability is availability, and that especially goes for the kicker. After the failed experiment with Dominik Eberle in Week 4, the Lions now turn to Michael Badgley to make the most of fourth downs.
Badgley, like most kickers, has a journeyman background, but it wasn’t always that way. He joined the Chargers in 2018 and was one of the best kickers in the league, but gradually slipped to average in 2019 and below average in 2020, leading the Chargers to part ways with him. Badgley would spend 12 games in Indianapolis in 2021 before stepping in with Tennessee for a week. Since then, Badgley has spent lots of time in NFL workout circles, eventually landing with the Bears last week in their 20-12 loss to the Giants, scoring all 12 of those points.
Question of the day: Do you approve of the Lions’ change at kicker?
My answer: I do. For a midseason change at the position, Badgley really is quite the get in my opinion.
Badgley had a rough 2020, and it seems like NFL teams haven’t forgiven him for that. That season excluded, he has been a really reliable kicker in all of his stops. For those of you scarred by last week’s kicking fiasco, take comfort in knowing that Badgley went 4/4 for the Bears that same day. However, the common theme of Badgley doing well seems to be short to medium-range field goals — dare I say, a Riley Patterson type.
Here’s what some Chargers fans had to say:
Very accurate from 0-45 yards. Very inaccurate from 45+. Cannot trust him in the clutch to get the job done.
— Steven Haglund (@StevenIHaglund) October 8, 2022
Apart from missing every single game tying or winning field goal he wasn’t the worst. Definitely not serving of a starting spot but there are probably worse options for an emergency kicker.
— Herbert for MVP (@LA_BoltUp) October 8, 2022
While you never want a kicker with weaknesses, those do seem like the right complement for what Dan Campbell likes. I think it’ll be a good match with Detroit, and I could definitely see him sticking it out with the Lions through the season, if not further, assuming he doesn’t make a bad first impression — we learned last week that it’s an unforgiving mistake. Ultimately, the Lions couldn’t keep playing the waiting game with Austin Seibert, and he hasn’t proven himself at the level of play of elite kickers to warrant being any more patient.
Your turn. Do you approve of the change at kicker? Did the Lions part ways with Seibert too soon? Did you want someone other than Badgley? Let’s hear it.