Caleb Sturgis

Late miss ends perfect streak for Miami Dolphins rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis


Rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis was 10 for 10 before missing a late 57-yard field goal that would have tied it.

The Dolphins have depended on Caleb Sturgis’ perfection so far this season.

So when Sturgis was asked to try a career-long 57-yard field goal Sunday with his team needing it to tie the score with 38 seconds left against the Ravens — a tough task for any kicker, let alone a rookie — the Dolphins felt comfortable.

“[For] the game winner, we thought near the 40-yard line would be a game winner,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said.

Sturgis knew from the moment he kicked the ball, his perfect streak was over.

Wide left

The attempt had the distance, but drifted wide left, sealing the Dolphins’ 26-23 defeat.

“I just mishit it a little bit,” Sturgis said. “It was a great snap and hold and the protection was great. The wind usually blows into you there. I wanted to make sure I got into it and I mishit it a little bit and I cost the team.”

Sturgis said the wind didn’t play a factor in the miss. Neither did the frantic pace of the Dolphins’ fourth quarter drive since they had no timeouts.

“It depends what the conditions are and I shouldn’t have done anything differently,” Sturgis said. “Because of the distance, I wanted to make sure I got it there, but I hooked it pretty good. If the humidity is really high, the ball won’t carry as far, but the ball was traveling pretty good today. There wasn’t much wind at that time.”

Philbin didn’t think the conditions were a factor either.

“Not to my knowledge,” Philbin said. “I’m not a wind expert. I didn’t really have a good angle. I couldn’t really tell [whether it was good].”

Sturgis also had one of his kickoffs late in the game sail out of bounds, giving the Ravens the ball at the 40-yard line right after the Dolphins tied the score at 23 with 8:03 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins, however, forced the Ravens to punt on the ensuing drive.

Sturgis has been one of the biggest bright spots for the team through five games.

Sturgis entered the game a perfect 7 for 7 and tied for third in the NFL among kickers yet to miss a field goal this season. He was also 2 for 2 on kicks of 50 yards or more and 5 for 5 on attempts at least 45 yards long.

Sturgis made all nine of his field goal attempts in the preseason, convincing the Dolphins they were ready to trust their fifth-round pick out of the University of Florida with the starting job over incumbent Dan Carpenter.

A booming foot

Sturgis showed the team he had the ability to make kicks from that range since the preseason, making a 58-yarder in the team’s second exhibition game at Jacksonville.

Sturgis went 3 for 3 on fields goals of 50 or more yards in his final season in college and had a career-long of 56.

On Sunday, Sturgis again played a key role in the Dolphins nearly coming back to win, making three more field goals of 48, 37 and 25 yards.

“It was a bad time to miss,” Sturgis said. “I just have to go out there and make it and I didn’t.”

Sturgis’ season-long is a 54-yarder against the Colts, which gave him the second-longest in franchise history by a rookie behind Pete Stoyanovich (59). His next made field goal would give him 11 and put him halfway to the franchise’s single-season rookie record held by Fuad Reveiz.

“This is a great group of guys and they told me to keep my head up and that they have confidence in me,” he said. “It’s my job now to go and make things right.”

Read more Miami Dolphins stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.


    Armando Salguero: Joe Philbin optimistic about Miami Dolphins despite skeptics

    Joe Philbin welcomes a visitor with a warm smile and firm handshake and for the next 30 minutes enthusiastically talks about his Dolphins with a confidence that belies the coach’s first two seasons in Miami.

St. Louis Rams seventh-round draft pick Michael Sam listens to a question during a news conference at the NFL football team's practice facility Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


    Greg Cote: Michael Sam is a distraction to embrace, not avoid

    It’s no surprise that Tony Dungy’s comments this week about Michael Sam — comments that on the surface seemed more benign than inflammatory — have created such a national tempest. Sports are a Petri dish for argument and debate under any circumstances, and when you add the politics of religion and gay issues to the mix, the chances of a quietly civil discussion have pretty much left the building.

<span class="cutline_leadin">building block:</span> Left tackle Branden Albert, above, 

will be the team’s replacement for Jonathan Martin.

    Miami Dolphins’ offensive line is new; time will tell if it’s improved

    The Dolphins’ offensive line, which allowed 58 sacks last season, will have four new starters – and center Mike Pouncey could be out until October. ‘We’ve got a lot of work,’ new left tackle Branden Albert said.

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category