One of the biggest concerns about the Tennessee Titans roster heading into this season was the kicker position. After struggling at the position for half of a decade, the Titans quietly nailed that issue by trading for Nick Folk.
When you look back on the season, 2023 was a massive disappointment and the team is going to walk out of it with more questions than answers. However, Nick Folk is one of the few players who could be an answer in 2024 and beyond (as long as he wants to keep playing).
It was Pro Bowl announcement week around the NFL, and the Tennessee Titans ended up with one Pro Bowl player (Derrick Henry), and two Pro Bowl alternates (Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry).
Nick Folk didn't make it, and that wasn't shocking because the AFC kicking spot has been reserved for Justin Tucker for the last five years. I mean, Tucker is so good that before the Tennessee Titans traded for Nick Folk, Mike Vrabel lamented how difficult it is to find good kickers by saying that you can't just go pick up Justin Tuckers off of the street.
When your name is shorthand for greatness then you are in a tier of your own.
However, when you look at Tucker's numbers next to Folk's, there is an argument to be made that Tucker got in over Folk because of his name more than because of what he did on the field this season. I suspect the Tennessee Titans felt this way too because they made sure to emphasize just how good Nick Folk has been this week when they were putting together their weekly compilation of interesting stats.
You can see there that Folk has been the second-most accurate kicker in the NFL this season with just 1 miss in 30 attempts. Comparatively, Justin Tucker has missed 5 kicks in 36 attempts.
If that doesn't surprise you, how about this? Tucker is known as a guy who can score from 60 yards out and he has been a great weapon for the Baltimore Ravens over the years, but his longest make of the season is just 50 yards. In fact, from 50+ yards out, Tucker is 1 of 5 this season.
Meanwhile, Nick Folk's longest was 53 yards and he is 5-of-6 from 50+ his season, so if you needed a long field goal this year you were significantly better off if you had Folk than Tucker.
Justin Tucker has had a better career, but that isn't what the Pro Bowl is supposed to be about. It is about which player had the best season and if that is the criteria then Nick Folk was a snub and should have been the AFC's representative.