A Year In Review: Sebastian Janikowski
A review of the 2016 season of Oakland Raiders veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
Sebastian Janikowski has been a fixture with the Oakland Raiders ever since he was shockingly taken with the 17th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. Having just completed his 17th season in the NFL, the veteran kicker at times showed signs of his age, but all in all, had another quality season.
As the only player still on the roster from the 2002 Super Bowl team, Janikowski has been through it all with the Raiders. From 12-4 in his rookie season to 11-5 and a Super Bowl appearance shortly after, all the way down to 2-14 and 13 consecutive years without the playoffs, and then finally back to 12-4 and a playoff berth in 2016.
Seabass is of unquestionable importance to the team, as he’s helped mentor younger players over the years, including through the recent culture change.
It’s true that father time waits for no player. But with that being said, father time has been quite patient with Janikowski. He’s still quite popular amongst the majority of the fan base, although that has wavered a bit in recent years. The leg strength of the Polish Cannon isn’t quite what it used to be.
On field goals from 50 or more yards, Janikowski was just 3 of 8 this season — a sharp decline from what Raider Nation is accustomed to from their long-time kicker.
According to Pro Football Reference, Janikowski’s numbers have been steadily declining since 2012. Since hitting 91 percent of his field goals in 2012, these are his marks in the following years — 70%, 86.4%, 80.8%, and 82.9%.
Even though his numbers took a slight dip, Janikowski still had some bright spots this season, and it was still a quality year by league standards. Per ESPN.com, the Raiders ranked 12th in field goals made in 2016. We also saw Seabass set a new NFL record, as the all-time leader in field goals made from 50 or more yards.
Per the Raiders official Twitter account, here is the video of the record-breaking kick.
No kicker has made more 50+ yard field goals than Sebastian Janikowski.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) September 25, 2016
That may be the high point of Jano’s season. On the other hand, the low point came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8. By the final whistle, Janikowski only made 1 out of 3 field goals, and the two misses would have either tied or won the game.
It certainly wasn’t his best performance, but in veteran fashion, Seabass bounced back in a big way. From Week 11 through Week 15, he nailed 13 consecutive field goals. In Week 15 against the Chargers, Janikowski earned JBB’s Game Ball and was also named the Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Week, as he was a perfect 4 for 4 on the day, including the game-winning field goal that clinched the team’s first playoff berth since 2002.
Unfortunately, the season didn’t end well for Seabass, as he failed to record a single field goal in Week 17 as well as the Wild Card loss to the Texans.
It’s hard to say how much Janikowski has left in the tank, but at some point in the near future, Reggie McKenzie will have to replace Seabass.
But it’s probably safe to say that Janikowski at least won’t be going anywhere next season.
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