The Associated Press
December 17, 2015
FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2015, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell (9) watches after booting a field goal in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, in Cincinnati. Chris Boswell began the season looking for a job. He will end it as the most productive rookie kicker in Pittsburgh Steelers history. Boswell is 24 of 26 since being signed in late September. (AP Photo/Frank Victores, File)
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Chris Boswell spent the first four weeks of the season looking for a job.
Now, he's on the verge of ending the year as the most productive rookie kicker in Pittsburgh Steelers history.
That's the kind of stability Boswell brought to a position the Steelers struggled to fill after the reliable Shaun Suisham went out with a season-ending knee injury during training camp.
''He's definitely brought consistency and a level of dependability that we can count on when we get down in the red zone and need a field goal,'' long-snapper Greg Warren said. ''I know it takes a lot of pressure off the team when you have a guy like that you can count on.''
The Steelers didn't initially have that after they lost Suisham, the most accurate kicker in franchise history. Garrett Hartley pulled his hamstring during a preseason game and the Steelers added Josh Scobee in a trade. They later released him after he missed two fourth-quarter kicks against Baltimore.
Boswell, the team's fourth kicker, has thrived for two months. He hasn't given much thought to his success, though.
''I'm not really worried about what I've done so far,'' Boswell said. ''You just have to worry about the next one. You can't think about the last one or worry about what you've done in the past. You have to keep it up and stay consistent.''
Boswell has converted 24 of 26 field goal attempts and 18 of 19 extra points. Since making his NFL debut in Week 5 against San Diego, Boswell leads all kickers in field goals and points. He has connected on 92.3 percent of his field goals, good for fifth in the league - tops among Steeler rookies and first-year kickers and third-best in team history.
Boswell is one field goal from tying Kris Brown's record for the most by a Steelers rookie or first-year kicker set in 1999. He's also 10 points shy of becoming the third rookie or first-year kicker with 100 points in a season.
''Some people have mentioned it to me, but I haven't paid attention to it,'' Boswell said. ''I probably won't until the season is over.
''Right now, it doesn't have any effect on anything, so why worry about it?''
In just his second career game, Boswell connected on all four field goal attempts. He hit three field goals in four straight weeks and went a perfect 4 for 4 last Sunday to help the Steelers defeat division rival Cincinnati and keep pace in the AFC North.
Boswell has also been able to navigate the tricky, swirling winds at Heinz Field and thrive inside one of the most difficult stadiums in the league.
''One of the biggest things is how true he kicks the ball,'' Warren said. ''The rotation is very even and because of that, the wind doesn't affect it much.''
There hasn't been much that has affected the steady Boswell, whose even-keeled demeanor and rock-solid play appears to have solved the Steelers' kicking woes this season.
''I've just been in a rhythm and staying consistent week to week,'' Boswell said. ''I just look up, try to find a spot to kick it to and see if it goes in.''
NOTES: Any Steelers player who appeared on the injury report at any point in the week is listed as probable for Sunday's game against Denver. The list includes Bud Dupree (back), Heath Miller (ribs), Mike Mitchell (shoulder), Ryan Shazier (knee), Matt Spaeth (knee) and DeAngelo Williams with an illness.