The 49ers have one of the NFL’s most solid kickers in Robbie Gould, giving them confidence in their playoff game Sunday against the Cowboys. But Dallas does not have that same luxury.

Kicker Brett Maher missed four of his five extra-point attempts last Monday night in the Cowboys’ win over the Buccaneers. His first attempt Sunday in Dallas’ divisional-round game against the Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium was blocked by 49ers defensive end Samson Ebukam, making him 1-of-6 this postseason. The kick appeared to be hooking wide left even before Ebukam got a hand on it.

49ERS-COWBOYS: Follow along here

Maher made 29 of his 32 field goal attempts and 50 of his 53 extra-point tries in the regular season, so the sudden difficulty is a surprise. Dallas brought in free agent kicker Tristan Vizcaino as another option this week, but chose to stick with Maher for Sunday’s game.

After Maher’s blocked PAT attempt Sunday, his name became Twitter’s top trending topic. “Yips”, “Rick Ankiel” and “Chuck Knoblauch” were also among the top 30 topics in the United States as fans invoked other famous instances of athletes suddenly losing their nerve.


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