The Rams could not pull away from — and then lost to — the underdog Steelers in their Week 7 matchup, and they have a growing special teams problem to blame for it. Falling 24-17 on Sunday, Los Angeles saw veteran kicker Brett Maher miss multiple field goal tries for the third time this season, dropping his conversion percentage to one of the lowest in the league. He’s at 73.9%, which ranks 29th out of 33 kickers this season entering “Sunday Night Football” and “Monday Night Football.” Maher missed two field goals and an extra point, costing the Rams seven points, the margin they lost by in Week 7.
“We’ll look at it, and we’ll see,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said about Maher postgame, via The Athletic. “He’s got to be better. That’s seven points that we missed out on, that were key and critical for the momentum of the game and the type of game that it was. Those were tough ones, today.”
Maher, who signed with the Rams just before the season, missed two different attempts from beyond 50 yards Sunday, with his second try sailing wide left while L.A. led 17-10 late in the third quarter. He did connect on a 41-yarder, finishing 1 of 3, but is now 17 of 23 on the year. His 17 made field goals are tied for the most in the NFL entering the final two games of Week 7, but he previously missed two different attempts in both Weeks 1 and 4.
The Rams won their season opener, 30-13, against the Seahawks despite Maher’s two misses. But things weren’t nearly as smooth in Week 4, when his pair of misses on another 3 of 5 performance helped the Colts send L.A. to overtime, where the Rams won 29-23.
The 33-year-old Maher spent three of his previous four seasons with the Cowboys, hitting 78 of 98 FG tries (79.6%) between 2018-2022. The Rams are his ninth NFL team since he went undrafted out of Nebraska in 2013, but he also spent much of 2014-2016 in the CFL. His predecessor, Matt Gay, hit 74 of 80 FGs (92.5%) in three years with the Rams before landing a four-year, $22.5 million deal with the Colts in free agency this offseason, making him one of the three highest-paid kickers in the entire NFL.