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NFL kickers are having a terrible Week 4

Forget extra points, NFL kickers are struggling with field goals all over the field this season.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has made extra points harder by moving the kicking spot back, which has resulted in a lot more misses than usual, but that story line is quickly becoming secondary to this one: NFL kickers are struggling all over the field.

Heading into Sunday in Week 4, NFL kickers made 146 out of 173 field goals -- that's 27 missed field goals. That includes Week 4's Thursday Night Football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, where the Steelers' Josh Scobee missed a pair of crucial field goals. But Scobee isn't the only kicker who has stumbled.

During the early slate of Sunday's game alone, including the the morning game in London, there were nine missed field goals on 37 attempts -- a conversion rate of 75.6 percent, well below 2014's season percentage of 84 percent. That's in addition to four missed extra points.

Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Jason Myers "led the way" with deflating misses of 53 and 48 yards. The 53-yard miss actually occurred twice, as the Colts tried to ice him near the end of regulation. He still missed both attempts, sending the game to overtime, where he missed a potentially game-winning kick after Indianapolis had already possessed the ball.

Dan Carpenter (Buffalo Bills), Caleb Sturgis (Philadelphia Eagles), Nick Novak (Houston Texans), Mike Nugent (Cincinnati Bengals), Kyle Brindza (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Nick Folk (New York Jets) also missed field goals in the early games Sunday.

There are some very established names on that list, and while Jets fans probably don't need to worry about someone like Folk in the long run, it is a worrying trend. In addition to the missed field goals, Sturgis missed an extra point, as did Josh Brown of the New York Giants.

It's worth noting that not everyone is struggling. Cairo Santos nailed seven field goals for the Kansas City Chiefs (a franchise record) on Sunday. And while Scobee was missing crucial attempts on Thursday, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker connected on all three of his attempts, including the game winner from 52 yards out. Both Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts and Robbie Gould of the Chicago Bears hit field goals of 54 yards.

Vinatieri also kicked a 27-yard field goal in overtime to give the Colts a win, following Myers' miss:

Overall, kickers in the evening slate redeemed their peers, going 19-for-21 on field goal attempts. The two misses came from normally reliable sources, however. Minnesota's Blair Walsh missed wide left on a 38-yard attempt in a three-point loss to Denver, and Green Bay's Mason Crosby missed wide left on a 44-yard attempt just before halftime of a 14-point Packers win.

A missed chip shot almost became the story of the Sunday night game between the New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys, however. Zach Hocker doinked a 30-yarder off the left upright that likely would have won the game for New Orleans at the end of regulation. He may have been distracted by a large man's belly:

Fortunately for Hocker, Drew Brees and C.J. Spiller bailed him out with an 80-yard touchdown in overtime.

Kickers like Vinatieri have been doing well their whole careers, and he's basically unshakable. But with someone like Myers missing multiple game-winners, Sturgis floundering in his debut for the Eagles and Brindza missing five of his last seven attempts -- 6 of 12 overall this year -- you can probably expect more kicker tryouts and shuffling at the position going forward.