Many players come across a fan’s mind when thinking about who the “unsung hero” of the Colts is at this moment. Rodrigo Blankenship, in my opinion, is not one of those players that Colts fans tend to think about when asked a question of that nature. Even for myself, I would normally tell other Colts fans and fans of other teams about every other player except Blankenship. Kickers are usually no one’s favorite player, or someone’s “unsung hero” or “x-factor” of their team, but today I am going to tell you why Blankenship will be the key “unsung hero” in the Colts season and their plans of contending for the Super Bowl.
While the Colts have gotten a few new players during the off-season, most notably Carson Wentz, Eric Fisher, and Kwity Paye, the attention and questions for the season continue to be on the performance of Wentz the health of Fisher, and the excitement surrounding Paye. Besides Colts fans and media, no one else realizes how important Blankenship is to their success.
In his rookie season last year, Blankenship made 43 out of 45 extra-point attempts (95.6 %) and 32 out of 37 field-goal attempts, with the longest field goal being 53 yards. The Colts went 11-5 with Blankenship at the helm of kicking duties; none of his missed kicks during the season cost the Colts a loss. Blankenship’s rookie campaign was far from perfect despite his continued consistency throughout the season. Blankenship has one of the weaker legs compared to the rest of the kickers in the league, so expect Blankenship to continue grinding and to get his legs stronger to hit the longer field goals when asked to do so. Secondly, in Blankenship’s only playoff game last season, he missed a crucial field goal in the 3rd quarter vs. the Bills. The Bills ended up winning the game 27-24, with Blankenship’s miss being one of the differences in the loss.
Despite how important each individual play, player, or coach is to their team’s success, no matter what happens in a game if the kicker misses their kicks, they become the scapegoat of the loss and are remembered in infamy. It can also be seen on the positive side; if a kicker makes all their kicks and the team wins a super bowl/playoff game, they are remembered forever as a legend by the fanbase.
Blankenship is only going into his second season, but the pressure on him to get better and continue his already amazing production is adamant. If the Colts want to go far into the playoffs and potentially win a Superbowl, it will ride on the legs of Rodrigo Blankenship. It is up to Rodrigo to become the “unsung hero” the Colts need him to be.