The Chargers longed for stability at the kicker position.
It became clear in the regular season that Michael Badgley was the right man for the job.
In fact, he set a team record for the best single-season field goal percentage (93.8) by a kicker with at least 15 made field goals.
However, playoff football is a totally different beast than the regular season.
Well, Badgley was more than up for the task against the Baltimore Ravens, lifting the Bolts to a Wild Card victory with the best postseason kicking performance in team history.
The undrafted rookie drilled ﬁve ﬁeld goals, setting a new Chargers record for the most single-game makes in the postseason. In addition, his 15 total points also set a new-high for total single-game points in the playoffs.
If that wasn’t enough, Badgley drilled a 53-yard attempt in ﬁrst quarter, which was the second-longest ﬁeld goal for the Bolts in postseason history.
However, despite his heroics, Badgley remained humble as ever.
The records mean nothing to him.
He’s just happy the team got the win.
“As long as we won the game, it doesn’t really mean that much,” he said. “I’m excited to go and continue in this playoff run we’re making. It’ll be fun in Foxborough next week.”
While he was nonchalant about his big day, his teammates certainly weren’t.
“He’s been huge,” Austin Ekeler said. “Before it was like, ‘Oh shoot, we need to get a little closer,’ but Badge has been stepping up, proving that he can put them through (no matter the distance). And he keeps doing it. I think he had one block today, but it was just a low kick, and it didn’t even faze him at all. He went out there and made two more.”
“It’s a huge difference just knowing that we’ve got a kicker who’s going to go out there and put points on the board,” added Mike Williams. “He scored a lot of points for us tonight. We couldn’t finish the drives, but we knew that we had a kicker who could finish the drives for us.”
The Chargers obviously wanted to end each drive in the end zone.
However, Philip Rivers noted that with the way the defense was playing, each Badgley field goal felt like a touchdown.
“He was really great today,” Rivers reflected after the game. “He made some tough kicks…. Coming into this game, we knew that the Ravens had been ahead 75 percent of the time since they changed their offense. We wanted to take a lead and see how they responded. Even when it was nine-to-nothing and 12-to-nothing, we were in good shape because we kept getting points.”
“Michael Badgley did a heck of a job of making his field goals,” added Head Coach Anthony Lynn. “They made a big difference in this game… I have a lot of confidence in that young man because he has a lot of confidence in himself.”
If the NFL didn’t know about the “Money Badger” before today, they certainly do now.