One of the calling cards of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's dynastic run was his teams always having elite special teams. In 2023, that simply isn't the case when it comes to their kicking position.
New England selected Maryland's Chad Ryland 112th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, in the fourth round, making him the second-highest drafted kicker in 2023 behind only the San Francisco 49ers' Jake Moody, who went off the board in the third round.
Ryland has not rewarded Belichick's faith in him so far this season, connecting on only 12 of his 18 field-goal attempts (66.7%), the second-lowest conversion rate in the league among 32 kickers with 10 or more field-goal attempts in 2023. Only New York Giants kicker Graham Gano (11 for 17) has been worse.
The biggest miss of Ryland's young career came in Week 12 when he pushed a potential game-tying field goal against the New York Giants wide left with only six seconds left to play. The ensuing result was the Patriots dropping their fourth game in a row to fall to 2-9. As of today, they have the third-worst record in the league ahead of only the Arizona Cardinals (2-10) and the Carolina Panthers (1-10).
"Chad's a very talented player," Belichick said Wednesday on WEEI in Boston. "But this is two weeks in a row that we basically missed extra points. It's not good enough."
Per the league's transaction wire, the Patriots brought in five kickers for a workout on Tuesday: Matthew McCrane, Tanner Brown, John Parker Romo, B.T. Potter, and Parker White. However, Ryland appears to have held onto the job entering Week 13.
"He's on our roster," Belichick said Wednesday in a press conference, via ESPN.