Could Janikowski be replaced?

Sebastian Janikowski is off to one of the worst starts of his NFL career and has missed four of his first five field goal attempts, including what would have been the game-winner against Denver on Sunday.

Yet Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin says the team is sticking by its struggling kicker and has no plans on bringing in someone to challenge Sebastian Janikowski for the job.

"I'm still behind Janikowski," Kiffin said Monday. "He's going through a tough time right now,

an emotional roller coaster, because he's such a competitor, and he's really taking it hard. He really feels like he's let the team down. But we get spoiled, too. We've got to remember that even though it's up there, and he kicks so well up there, and that in his mind he can make 10 of 10 from 52 yards up there, it's still 52 yards. It's not a chip-shot by any means.

"We're still behind him and he's going to win some games from us."

Janikowski initially appeared to have won the game for the Raiders when he easily split the uprights on his first try from 52 yards midway through overtime. But a late timeout call from Denver's bench negated the kick and forced Janikowski to attempt a second one.

This time, Janikowski's kick took off left and was hooking back before hitting off the top of the left upright and falling harmlessly to the turf below.

Denver then took the ensuing drive and marched downfield for Jason Elam's game-winning field goal.

"Actually it happens to be Janikowski's luck that on the second one, he created a divot where he hit the one right before," Kiffin said. "So if you watch it, (holder Shane Lechler) moves about maybe nine inches over to the right. He's not exactly square right there so he's actually off-center a little bit."

Janikowski has now missed eight of his last 14 field goal attempts in the regular season dating back to 2006. The former first-round draft pick has also missed 10 of his last 13 tries from 50 yards or longer.

SB Report Top Stories