Monday, September 26, 2022

NFL’s Biggest Toes on the Field for Memorable Start in ’21

Matt Prater came short and paid the price, not once but twice.

His attempt to break his own record for the longest field goal in NFL history — 64-yards in the thin air of Denver eight years ago — backfired on Sunday when a former teammate hit Jacksonville. He returned his 68-yard effort to a record 109 yards in the heavy wind. For a touchdown on the last game of the first half.

Prater’s third-quarter field goal from half-distance ignited the Cardinals’ comeback from a 13-7 halftime deficit that sent the Jaguars into their 18th consecutive defeat.

But his record fell anyway.

A thousand miles north, at Detroit’s climate-controlled Ford Field, where Prater wielded his craft for the past seven seasons, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker, the most accurate kicker in league history, hit his 40-yard line with three seconds remaining. But stood.

His holder was at the Ravens 44, and after some heroics by Lamar Jackson and a little help from the caretaker, the Lions was the snapper at 48.

Tucker’s attempt from 66 yards bounced over the crossbar as time ran out to send the Ravens to an electric 19-17 victory over the Lions.

“That was more like a kickoff,” said Tucker, who stepped on his way to destroy the ball with his own 44. “It’s like you’re a competitor in a long drive competition. You just rip it off and hope it stays straight.”

Prater’s league record held for 2,850 days was broken. Although he does not hold the record for the longest field goal scored against the Titans on December 8, 2013, 64 yards, Prater does have the longest field goal for three franchises: the Cardinals (62 yards), the Lions (63) and the Broncos. (64).

Kickers have never been this clutch so quickly, but Cliff Kingsbury had a 68-yard prater attempt in Florida.

Jamal Agnew returned 109 yards for a touchdown, breaking two tackles and removing another before passing Prater for the final 10 yards.

Nation World News Desk
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