Yes, Connor Barth made five field goals against Kansas City on Sunday night, but as The Wolf says...
After all, those five field goals were from 22, 24, 30, 33, and 37 yards. Yes, Brandon McManus missed a 33-yarder last week, but none of his other misses came on short kicks.
If you want to assume that McManus would have missed enough of those attempts to cost Denver the game, you're certainly entitled. Of course, he would have had to have missed *all of them*, so there's that.
Here's where the Chiefs' possessions started following Barth's kickoffs: 31, 35, 31, 31, 38, 35, 38, 24. Even that last one is nothing to get excited about, as Barth's kick only reached the 13-yard line.
That's an average start of the 32.9-yard line, which is, for lack of a better word, atrocious.
It was suggested to me on Twitter that Cairo Santos didn't fare much better, but there are problems with that claim:
One: Santos entered the game with the second lowest touchback rate among all of the NFL's kickoff guys.
Two: When Santos kicked off, here's where Denver started out: 41, 21, 24, 16. AH HA, you say, what about the 41-yard line?! Well, that happened because of that 15-yard personal foul call, which forced Santos to kick off from his own 20. To sum it up, Santos did far better than Barth on kickoffs tonight, and he is the
second third worst kickoff guy in the league.
On McManus's 64 kickoffs this season, Denver's opponents started from their 20.6-yard line, on average. By higher math, that's a difference of 12.3 yards per kick.
By higher math and in plain English, the Broncos gave the Chiefs an extra 12.3 yards *eight times* on Sunday night. That's essentially 98.4 free yards that Denver handed over to their opponents.
That may not be such a big deal when facing Captain Checkdown (110 net passing yards on 29 dropbacks), but it will be a ginormous deal somewhere down the line, perhaps at Foxboro in January.
Tuck this one away for future reference: in the Week 9 loss at New England, McManus's kickoffs gave New England the ball at the 22, 20, 20, and 20, for an average start of the 20.5-yard line.
Chances are, the swap of McManus for Barth is going to bite Denver. It's only a matter of time.