The Indianapolis Colts have to get ready for the red-hot Rodrigo Blankenship.
If you don’t already have your thick goggles and fake mustache for your Halloween costume, Colts fans, then it’s time to get acquainted with Rodrigo Blankenship.
Assumed to be the heir apparent to Adam Vinatieri in Indianapolis ever since they snagged him once Day 3 of the draft wrapped up, Blankenship has shown up to camp with the same fervor and panache he displayed at Georgia.
Despite Chase McLaughlin’s solid 2019 season (18-of-23 on FGs, perfect on 26 XPs), he’s not entrenched as a starter by any means, nor does he have a significant “legacy” in Indy.
If this truly is an open competition, then it would seem the bespectacled Blankenship has pulled ahead by now, brandishing a sterling weekend as an exclamation point.
Are we judging based off one day? Of course not, and both kickers’ misses came from significant range.
Still, the numbers don’t lie. Blankenship’s first-ever NFL experience is going very well indeed.
And he’s been ready for these days ever since that fateful weekend when he wasn’t drafted.
Chase? Don’t make Rodrigo Mc-Laugh-Lin.
America’s favorite kicker ended up 27-of-33 in his final collegiate season, on permanent display in the mainstream thanks to Georgia’s SEC success and usual presence in the CFP or conference championship. Also, not for nothing, but the kid didn’t miss a single extra point during regular season collegiate action — that’s four full pressure-filled years.
Of course, nothing is assured. The “veteran” McLaughlin has some real-world clutch experience at Lucas Oil and on the road that Blankenship simply doesn’t possess yet, even though Athens and Atlanta probably approximated it quite a bit.
Without fans to cheer or jeer him for at least a large portion of 2020, the “rookie” factor and jitter quotient might be downgraded to, “Who cares?” though. Skittishness about youth aside, they can’t let Blankenship get away.
Nor can they let the Patriots forget they drafted a Marshall kicker ahead of him who may never play NFL football. That’s the good stuff.