By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Leading up to the 2021 Patriots season, we’ll be taking a look at a specific storyline that will have our attention throughout the season. Today we focus on the new guy that the Patriots will be relying on to put the ball through the uprights: Quinn Nordin.

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We’ve been pretty spoiled when it comes to the gentlemen who kicked field goals for the New England Patriots over the last 20 years. Adam Vinatieri had his incredible run, followed by an equally incredible run by the Stephen Gostkowski. Both were as sure-footed as they come.

And for the last two seasons, Nick Folk carried that torch and was also as consistent as they come. He was probably one of the team’s best offensive players in 2020, with his right leg winning New England a couple of games midseason.

But Folk is starting the season on the practice squad after losing the job to undrafted rookie kicker Quinn Nordin. That could make for a roller coaster when the Patriots line up for three points or PATs.

Nordin was trick or treat during his college career at Michigan, connecting on just 72 percent of his field goal attempts. He was just 2-for-5 in his limited action during the 2020 season, and spent his summer on LinkedIn. He even considered power washing decks around his neighborhood as he looked for work, and toyed with joining the military.

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Then the Patriots came calling and gave Nordin his shot. The 23-year-old impressed during camp, and then went out and was perfect on his three field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder.

All good, right? Not quite. Nordin followed that up by missing two PATs (going 2-for-4) and a short kick to finish 1-for-2 on his field goal attempts in preseason game No. 2. He closed the preseason on a high note, booting three of his four kicks in New England’s finale, with his only miss a late 53-yard attempt.

That is the Quinn Nordin experience in a nutshell. He can look great on one kick and lost on the next. He’ll be perfect one week, and then anything but the next time he takes the field.

It’s interesting that Bill Belichick would tab the rookie as the team’s kicker, given that the Patriots are probably going to find themselves in a lot of close games this season. The offense is promising, but there is a lot of unknown with rookie Mac Jones running the show. Chances are there will be a few games that come down to Nordin splitting the uprights.

Should the rookie falter, Folk is still around and showed during his super brief preseason action that he can still put three points on the board. But for now the Patriots are going with Nordin, which could be a wild roller coaster ride that occasionally goes wide right.

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Tune in to Patriots-Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 12 on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Wednesday night with Patriots 1st Down at 10:30 p.m. on TV38 and continues Friday night with Patriots All Access at 7 p.m. on WBZ! Our opening day coverage begins with Patriots GameDay at 11:30 a.m., the Patriots and the Dolphins kick off at 4:25 p.m., and after the game switch over to TV38 for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!