Posted on January 25, 2019, by Travis Pulver
When it comes to choosing an MVP in the Super Bowl, more often than not, a quarterback goes home with the honor. In 29 of the 52 that have been played, that has been the case. Running backs and wide receivers have won a combined 13.
A defensive player has gone home with it on ten occasions. There has even been one kick/punt returner. But there has never been and never will be an offensive lineman or a kicker. But could that all change this year?
Is there a chance that the MVP of Super Bowl LIII could be Patriots kicker Steve Gostowski or Rams kicker Greg Zeuerlein?
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As could be expected, the oddsmakers have named Tom Brady the favorite to win MVP followed by Jared Goff. While neither team’s kicker is expected to even be in the conversation by time the game ends, they were given odds: Steve Gostowski– +15000; Greg Zeuerlein– +12500.
That means that on the off—no, extremely unlikely – chance that either of them would actually win, anyone who puts a little money down stands to win big. Who doesn’t want to win big?
But what would it take?
The record for field goals made in a single Super Bowl is just four; Don Chandler did it back in Super Bowl II and Ray Wersching got it down in Super Bowl XVI. On both occasions, the winning team’s quarterback was named MVP (Bart Starr and Joe Montana respectively) — and they deserved it.
Therein lies the problem for a kicker to be named MVP. There are going to be other players who have very good games guys that will be considered before a kicker simply because of the position they play (whatever it happens to be).
Just about everyone else will be on the field for a good chunk of the game with many more opportunities to make MVP-caliber plays.
So, what a kicker is going to have to do is have such an extraordinary day of his own that it can actually overshadow the rest of the team. We are probably talking making six or seven field goals, all from 40+ yards (deeper the better), with no touchdowns being scored (unless the kicker throws the touchdown pass on a fake).
Who is more likely to do it? Gostowski or Zeuerlein?
Gostowski has a better career percentage (87.4) than Zeuerlein (83.5), and over the course of his career, he has been better from 50+ than Zeuerlein has been (25-35 relative to 28-48). But Zeuerlein has had the better season this year from long distance (4-6 from 50+ compared to 2-5).
Plus, the man is called ‘Greg the Leg’ for a reason. Between the two, Zeuerlein has the stronger leg. It is more likely that the Rams would give him the opportunity. Bill Belichick is more apt to go for it on fourth down than try a long field goal.
But is either worth betting on?
It would be insane to put anything more than pocket change (i.e. $10 or $20) with the odds being so astronomical. More than likely it will be lost money. But if you were to bet on one of them, Zeuerlein has the best shot.
The Rams were second this year in field goal attempts, third in made kicks, and teams have made 11 of 13 attempts against the Patriots from 40+. So, if the Rams end up lining up for a bunch of kicks, chances are good he will make them.
Will he make enough to warrant MVP consideration? Probably not but anything can happen.