The Indianapolis Colts waived third-year placekicker Rodrigo Blankenship Sept. 13 after his horrendous performance in the Colts' week one matchup against the Houston Texans.
Blankenship kicked for 8 points including two extra points and two field goals. Although that may not seem like a lackluster performance, the subject matter of the game was what Blankenship didn't do.
Blankenship made all of his recorded 8 points in regulation time with the Colts tying the game in a comeback and forcing the Texans to overtime. It was a 42-yard field goal in overtime that Blankenship missed that sent off the wave of misery and despair that Colts’ fans have felt for many years.
The Colts have not won a season-opening game since defeating the Oakland Raiders 21 - 17 at the start of the 2013 season – 9 years ago. Blankenship could have been the safety blanket that we, as Colts fans, could have relied on to break the gruesome curse of failing to start off the year right.
The missed 42-yard field goal in overtime isn't the only fundamental mistake Blankenship made Sunday afternoon, he also happened to blunder two consecutive crucial kickoffs late in the game that the Colts defense needed to rupture the rhythm of the Texans offense led by second-year quarterback Davis Mills.
The two consecutive kickoffs happened to be the last kickoff in regulation and the first kickoff in overtime giving the Colts a bad start to win the game in overtime. The whole sequence of tragic events was just a simple disappointment constructed by one man – Rodrigo Blankenship.
Blankenship’s career in a Colts uniform hasn't been terribly dreadful in his first two years. With the Colts accumulating a field goal percentageof 83% and an extra point percent of 95%. Blankenship’s problem is just that he hasn't proved himself in this league yet, it's also the pressure of the team he played for. Indianapolis Colts have had a long history of great kickers including All-Pro selections like Cary Blanchard, Mike Vanderjagt, and Adam Vinatieri.
It is tough to play on the same stage and live up to the name and hype of the all-time greats. The entire culture of Indianapolis Colts Football is used to the notion that we are filled with great kickers and when someone such as Blankenship underachieves when it matters most the reaction and result are going to be very stern and extreme.
The replacement for Blankenship will be a toss-up between a handful of candidates. One of those candidates for the job is Chase Mclaughlin. Mclaughlin previously played for the blue and white during the 2019 season, coming in for the then-injured Adam Vinitari. After finishing the season with the Colts, Mclaughlin was soon replaced by Blankenship.
Mclaughlin has the opportunity to replace the same guy who replaced him in his position 2 years ago. Personally, I believe that Mclaughlin should get the opportunity to become our kicker again. In his first stint for the boys in blue Mclaughlin was five-fo-six for field goals and a perfect for all 11 extra points he took. 9
All in all, I believe that Blankenship had a bad outing in the season opener and with the fact that he doesn't really have an identity in the NFL just yet, it really killed his shot at a second chance with the Colts. I would like to see Mclaughlin have his second stint with the Colts. He has done it before and could do it again.