Giants need bounce-back season from star veteran kicker

graham gano, new york giants
Dec 4, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano (9) warms up prior to the game against the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After a knee injury destroyed his 2023 season, New York Giants kicker Graham Gano will hopefully be healthier in 2024 and endure a bounce-back campaign.

Gano, who is entering his 16th NFL season, uncharacteristically struggled through the early portion of last season. He made just 64% of his field goal attempts, a career-low for him and far from his career average of 84%. It was clear that health was a reason for his struggles, as during weeks 7 and 8 of last season he was just 1-for-4 on kicks in those two weeks combined. Soon after, he would go on the injured reserve and not return the rest of the season.

Aside from 2023, Graham Gano has been tremendous with the Giants

New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano (9) kicks the game winning field goal against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at State Farm Stadium
Sep 17, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano (9) kicks the game winning field goal against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

Prior to last season, Gano’s Giants tenure was terrific. From 2020-22, Gano was 91.8% (89-for-97) on kicks, which ranked third-best among NFL kickers with at least 50 field goal attempts in that span. That same mark is also the highest in Giants history over 50 attempts (h/t Big Blue View).

With how lackluster the Giants’ passing offense has been over the past several years, Gano has actually been a huge contributor to the team’s overall scoring production. In 2024, he will be entering his age 37 season and the first of a three-year, $16 million contract extension he signed last summer.

Without Gano, the Giants struggled mightily at special teams, with three different kickers attempting field goals at points throughout the season. They finished the 2023 season with the second-worst field goal percentage in the league at 71% and tied for the fourth-fewest extra points made with just 24.

Knee injuries are especially concerning, especially at Gano’s age. Although last season’s injury was on his non-kicking leg, it clearly still affected his performance drastically. Staying healthy will be the key for Gano to bounce back and become the reliable kicker he was for his first three seasons with the G-men. If he is able to bounce back, the Giants offense overall could see some improvement, which will be massive if they expect to win more games next season.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: