Judging by the football zodiac, 2015 has so far been the Year of the Kicker. The tides of each game turn on the strength and accuracy of 32 placekickers around the league.
While we've so far seen higher rates of missing the now-longer extra points and more kickers being cut than usual in the first five weeks (see ya, Josh Scobee), one specialist that isn't making much noise is still booming field goals by the Bay.
"You look at my stats?" Janikowski told the San Francisco Chronicle. "That's how I can tell. I'm doing the same thing I did 10 years ago, hitting 60-yarders in warm-ups before games. I don't see the difference. The more you do, the more you work out, you can be strong."
Janikowski has made all seven of his field goals so far this season and, more importantly, has been perfect on his 10 extra points.
"Once we cross the 50-yard-line, 'Hey, we get a couple of more yards, we're in field-goal range,'" Carr said. "There's nothing out of the question with the range that he has."
"In this league, you get injuries," Janikowski added. "I never thought I would play this long. But I feel great, and I'm going to keep going as long as I can."
Last week's loss to the Bears aside, the Raiders have gotten off to a strong start this year, boasting wins against the Ravens and Browns and a frightening young trio in Carr, Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack. Janikowski has seen a lot in his days in Oakland -- he once attempted a 76-yard kick under Lane Kiffin -- but the youth movement by the Bay has the kicker thinking better days are as within reach as a 60-yard chip shot.