Struggling on PATs, Bears K Cairo Santos moves the spot of the ball

Immediately after missing his fifth extra point of the season on Sunday, Bears kicker Cairo Santos changed the spot of the ball.

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Miami Dolphins v Chicago Bears

Cairo Santos kicks against the Dolphins.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Immediately after missing his fifth extra point of the season on Sunday, Bears kicker Cairo Santos changed the spot of the ball.

Kickers have the choice of where to put the ball on extra points. For his entire career, Santos had chosen the right hash. After pushing his extra point left in the second quarter, though, he began spotting the ball in the middle of the field. He made his final two extra points.

“It’s helped me for a long time, kicking from the right hash, but I feel like a bad habit is starting to develop,” Santos said Wednesday. “It feels easier to go and explore a different angle. I tried to keep grinding it out up to this point. I had five misses. I think it just didn’t work to stick with it.”

The switch is both technical and psychological — changing his spot has helped Santos focus on each kick as though it were fresh, he said.

Special teams coordinator Richard Hightower said he agreed with the decision because it helped his kicker’s sightline.

“He’s mentally tough, and that was a display of that right there,” he said. “I’m glad the way he finished. The guys are happy for him too.”

Bizarrely, Santos has missed only two field goals all year — but five extra points.

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