Ex-Steelers Kicker the Hero in Jags’ Streak-Ending Win vs. Dolphins

Matthew Wright Jaguars

Justin Setterfield/Getty Images Matthew Wright of Jacksonville Jaguars kicks the winning field goal against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 17, 2021.

On Saturday the then-winless Jacksonville Jaguars signed former Pittsburgh Steelers placekicker Matthew Wright to the team’s active roster. Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer is no doubt thrilled he made that decision, as he faced a choice: Sign Wright, or go back to longtime Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo, who has missed all three of his field goal attempts this season, as well as two extra-points.

The Wright Stuff

As it turns out, Wright was perfect for the Jaguars on Sunday, converting both of his extra-point attempts and all three of his field goal attempts, allowing Jacksonville (1-5) to leave Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London with a 23-20 victory. He had to be clutch at the very end of the game, kicking a 54-yarder with 3:45 left that tied the score 20-20.

Finally, he had to make another long kick a few minutes later, converting a 53-yarder as time expired, which led to a jubilant celebration on the part of Jacksonville’s players.

With the win, Jacksonville snapped the organization’s 20-game losing streak, which dated back to the first week of the 2020 season, when the Jags pulled out a victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the record for the longest losing streak in NFL history (26 games), set in 1976-77.

Wright Got His Start With the Steelers

Wright, 25, got his first chance in the NFL in 2019, after the Steelers signed him as an undrafted free agent to compete with Chris Boswell. The Central Florida product converted five of six field goal attempts during the 2019 preseason, yet the Steelers elected to stick with their established veteran.

But with Boswell suffering from a variety of injuries late last season, the Steelers invited him back for a tryout, and soon afterwards he was signed to Pittsburgh’s practice squad. He went on to make his NFL regular-season debut versus Washington when Boswell was out with a hip injury, and kicked in two more games after Boswell suffered a groin injury.

All told, he was 4-for-4 on field goals and converted all seven of his extra-point attempts while serving as Boswell’s injury replacement.

This season Wright signed to Jacksonville’s practice squad on September 27 and made his Jaguars debut against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 30. He was a practice squad elevation once again when Jacksonville hosted the Tennessee Titans on October 10, 2021.

Thus far, Wright has made 6-of-7 extra-points for the Jaguars and is 3-for-4 on field goal attempts, with his only miss coming on a 53-yarder that hit the crossbar.

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Le’Veon Bell Scored His First TD as a Member of the Ravens

Also on Sunday October 17, former Steelers All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell scored his first touchdown while wearing the black & purple. It was his second game in a Baltimore uniform, this in the wake of his Ravens debut at Denver on October 3.

Bell—who now wears No. 17—scored on a two-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, which gave the Ravens a two-score lead.

But other than the touchdown, Bell wasn’t at all productive, as he finished the game with eight carries for 18 yards, an average of just 2.3 yards per rush.

Per Pro Football Reference, Bell has 12 rushes for 29 yards this season, an average of 2.4 yards per carry.

Despite becoming an unrestricted free agent in early 2021, Bell went unsigned until the Ravens suffered a rash of season-ending injuries at running back, which prompted John Harbaugh & Co. to sign Bell to the practice squad on September 7.

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