INDIANAPOLIS — Kai Forbath had his first field goal with the Saints pulled out from under him on Sunday.
By design, of course.
Luke McCown pulled the ball out from under Forbath and completed a 25-yard pass to Ben Watson that jump-started a first-half explosion, but even though Forbath never got another shot at a field goal, the Saints’ new kicker contributed heavily to a 27-21 win over Indianapolis.
“He’s a real consistent kicker,” Sean Payton said. “A lot of poise and did a good job.”
Forbath knocked three extra points through the uprights, missing a fourth largely because of a high snap that left him in a bad position.
Under normal circumstances, that’s all Forbath will have to do in a Saints uniform, but the veteran kicker also had to handle kickoff duties as New Orleans slowly brings Thomas Morstead back from a right quadricep strain that forced him to miss two games. Other than a penalty for delay of game, Forbath handled the role well.
Forbath has never been a touchback specialist. With Morstead out, New Orleans knew it might have to defend more returns, but it paid off when David Hawthorne forced a Griff Whalen fumble that Kyle Wilson recovered to set up the Saints’ third touchdown.
“The first thing I said Wednesday — and (special teams coordinatorGreg McMahon) had already said it — I said was to the rest of the kickoff coverage team, here are the percentages so you are going to defend more kickoffs,” Payton said. “But you know what, I am comfortable with that if he keeps hitting them through the uprights.”
Forbath, for his part, is looking forward to Morstead’s return.
“It was good. Obviously, could have hit them a little better,” Forbath said. “We had the one penalty, it was just a miscommunication, didn’t hear the whistle, I guess, but you know, Thomas will be back soon to take over.”
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