A kicker is never really noticed in football games until he messes up.
Matt Prater was on the prime display table against the Dolphins when he missed two first half field goals. The first one sailed right of the goal post, the second one was pushed left.
Every single one of the pre-game kicks that he made didn’t mean a thing. These were six easy point left on the field. It would have meant a tied ball game at the half.
Prater came out in the second half and booted the winning 52-yard field goal through the uprights in overtime.
“I’d say my confidence was still high,” Prater said about his feelings after halftime. “It felt like I needed to redeem myself. The team expects me to make every kick and I didn’t have my best day.”
Prater also gave special teams a chance to recover an onside kick that started the initial drive to send the game into overtime. Prater’s kick hit the ground perfectly and slipped through the hands of Marlon Moore before Virgil Green recovered it.
As they say, the rest is history.
Prater could have let the early mistakes bother him, but like the rest of the team, he put his best foot (and leg) forward when the game was on the line.
The end result is Prater’s second career game winning field goal and a happy plane ride home.
The only thing I really have to do is try to control how mad I get at myself so I don’t overanalyze and over compensate