Tomlin gives kicker Chris Boswell vote of confidence

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Most of the footballverse cut Chris Boswell midway through the Pittsburgh Steelers tilt versus the New England Patriots.

Following a missed 32-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter, Boswell looked like a man who would lose his job. The botch marked Boswell's seventh missed field goal attempt on the season, and he's also missed five point-after tries. The latest flub came after the Steelers brought in outside kickers during the week to see if they wanted to change booters down the stretch.

In crunch time, however, Boswell might have saved his job. The 27-year-old Pro Bowl kicker banged home a 48-yard field goal to give the Steelers a 17-10 lead that the defense would hold on to late.

After the victory, coach Mike Tomlin gave his kicker a vote of confidence.

"He's our kicker from start to finish and I liked the way he came back and banged that next opportunity, and that is what this thing [football] is about," Tomlin said, via ESPN.com. "You are going to be tested, we are going to be tested, sometimes you are going to fail but you better pass enough of them."

Boswell's 61 percent field-goal conversion rate this season is second-worst in the NFL, ahead only replacement Sam Ficken, who missed two of three attempts with the L.A. Rams earlier this year.

Part of the issue is that in mid-December is there a better option any playoff-bound team could have confidence move forward with confidence down the stretch? Yes, Boswell clearly contracted some form of the yips, but he was a Pro Bowler one short year ago. The Steelers believe he can rebound.

"I made that decision when I walked into the stadium with him that he was our kicker and I wasn't going to play that second-guessing game today," Tomlin said. "We evaluated that process in a very thorough manner. Prior to going into the stadium we had a great deal of comfort with the route that we chose to take."

Bill Parcells famously threatened to cut Adam Vinatieri during his rookie season, before the best kicker in NFL history found rebounded. Perhaps Boswell's late-game make could similarly turn around his season. At least that's the spin the Steelers will put on the situation this week.

"He should be incredibly excited, because we are for him," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "We sent Bos out there and there was confidence. I believed he was going to make it. Obviously he believed in himself and he did it, and I'm proud of him for doing it and giving us a chance to win this game."

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