2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos' Prater denied shot at historic kick

    2012-11-22 18:02

(Eds: With AP Photos. Corrects sport designator)
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - If only Lance Ball could have found the umpire faster, Matt Prater might just have written his name in the record books.

The Denver Broncos had crossed midfield and Prater was all set to try a 67-yard field goal right before halftime in their 30-23 win over San Diego, but the clock ran out before the umpire could spot the ball for Peyton Manning to spike.

Oh well, maybe next time.

``We've got to do a better job as coaches practicing that under pressure,'' coach John Fox said.

After all, the men who share the NFL record for longest field goal at 63 yards - David Akers, Jason Elam, Tom Dempsey and Sebastian Janikowski - all say the strong-legged Prater has the best chance to break the mark, especially in Denver's thin air.

``He's a weapon,'' Fox said. ``I mean, he's a weapon on kickoffs. He's a weapon as far as field goal range. Shoot, we were trying to set him up before half and we made a boo-boo not getting the ball spiked because we didn't get it to the officials fast enough. If we'd have gotten to the 50, we'd have tried it, especially at our place.''

They reached the Chargers 49 when Ball caught an 11-yard pass from Manning. But the Broncos had no timeouts remaining and the first half ended, denying Prater a shot at history.

Earlier in the game, Prater had a rare long-range misfire, staring in disbelief along with his teammates when his attempt from 55 yards out clanked off the left upright near the yellow flag that flies atop the 30-foot-high goal posts.

It was just his fifth miss in 20 career attempts from 50 yards or more, and that dropped him behind Chicago's Robbie Gould (76.5 percent) as the most accurate long-range field goal kicker in NFL history.

Prater is an anomaly among NFL players who make a living with their legs: the farther from the goal posts, the better he gets.

He makes 93 percent of his attempts from 39 yards and in but just 61 percent from 40-49 yards (22 of 36), then 75 percent from 50-plus.

Would the Broncos ever consider taking a delay of game penalty if he's lining up for, say, a 46-yarder, so that they move back into his comfort zone?

``No,'' Fox said emphatically. ``I mean, I'm still of the belief that closer's better. We're not going out of our way to back him up, for sure.''

That's a relief to Prater.

``They're all the same kick,'' he said. ``For some reason, I've been lucky enough to make most of the 50-yarders, but they're all the same kick.''

But with more pressure and less room for error.

Studies have shown that, in general, field goal accuracy starts to dip at 43 yards. Gould, Prater, Tony Zendejas, Rob Bironas and Jeff Wilkins - in that order - have the highest 50-yard field goal percentage since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger with a minimum of 10 attempts. For those rare kickers such as them, that success rate starts to rise once they get shots from really far away.

``I don't know why,'' Prater said with a shrug. ``I don't try to over-think it.''

Broncos special teams coach Jeff Rodgers suggested a big part of Prater's success from long distance is his mindset.

``I'd say this: He loves it and he embraces that challenge and I think it goes back to having success in those situations that leads you to have confidence the next time it comes up,'' Rodgers said.

Last year, Prater became the first kicker since Chris Jacke in 1998 to kick a winning field goal on the final play in three straight games. One of them was from 51 yards, against Chicago in overtime, which came after he nailed a 59-yarder at the end of regulation to tie it.

Prater also had a 52-yarder to beat Miami in overtime last season, making him one of just three kickers in league history with at least four game-winning field goals in one season that came in overtime or as time expired in regulation. The others are Elam (2007) and Dan Bailey (2011).

``Confidence is there,'' Prater said. ``But you've got to treat them all the same.''

Last week, Prater had a 19-yard field goal, his first attempt ever from inside 20 yards, and he kicked it like he did his 55-yarder.

Prater said he'd actually prefer a lot more of those chip shots than the long ones, where the slightest of variations is magnified and can send the football flying just outside the goal posts.

``The closer you are, the higher the percentage should be of making the kick,'' he said. ``So, any time you have a short field goal, that's good. Of course, I'd be happy just kicking extra points all day, too.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Quentin GrovesOct 24 03:52p

Tennessee Titans CB Coty Sensabaugh (knee) and TE Taylor Thompson (knee) are listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Quentin Groves (ankle) is listed as questionable, while DE Ropati [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 24 02:22p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) did not practice again Friday, Oct. 24, and he's listed as doubtful for Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Trent RichardsonOct 24 02:02p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the chances aren't looking good that he plays.

Mario WilliamsOct 24 01:52p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin) and LB Ty Powell (ankle) both did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) [ More ]

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 01:52p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) will truly be a game-time decision against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8 in London. Johnson was limited in practice all week and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 24 01:52p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) has been doing rehab work this week but hasn't practiced. He could be a game-time decision in Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Owen DanielsOct 24 01:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Owen Daniels (knee) underwent a cleanup procedure on his knee and will not play in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach John Harbaugh said [ More ]

Reggie WayneOct 24 01:02p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) has officially been ruled out for Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

J. BabineauxOct 24 12:32p

Atlanta Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux (foot) is questionable for Week 8 against the Detroit Lions in London. OOG Justin Blalock (back) and LB Prince Shembo (knee) are probable. Babineaux [ More ]

Darren SprolesOct 24 12:22p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles (knee) practiced in full Friday, Oct. 24, and is listed as questionable for Week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Brad SmithOct 24 12:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Brad Smith (groin) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals. C Jason Kelce (hernia) and LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) are questionable, while [ More ]

Brandon PettigrewOct 24 12:22p

Detroit Lions TE Joseph Fauria (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London. TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot) is doubtful. OT LaAdrian Waddle (concussion) [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 24 11:42a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is not practicing Friday, Oct. 24. It's the third straight day he has missed practice, making it unlikely that he'll be able to play in Week 8.

Zac StacyOct 24 11:02a

St. Louis Rams RB Zac Stacy, who didn't have a touch in Week 7, could remain a factor in the backfield in Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:52a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is listed as doubtful for the Week 8 game Sunday, Oct. 26.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:52a

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is listed as questionable for the Week 8 game Sunday, Oct. 26. Johnson was limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24.

Brandon PettigrewOct 24 09:22a

Detroit Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Oct. 26. TE Joseph Fauria (ankle) is unlikely to play this weekend.

Eric EbronOct 24 09:22a

Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (hamstring) is likely out for Week 8, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Ebron missed practice again Friday, Oct. 24.

Juwan ThompsonOct 24 12:22a

Denver Broncos RB Juwan Thompson had seven carries for 24 yards, including a pair of short touchdown runs, in the team's Week 8 victory Thursday, Oct 23.

Zach MettenbergerOct 23 11:22p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger prides himself in his strong arm, WR Kendall Wright said, and the team is hoping that Mettenberger can bring a new element to a [ More ]

Jason VerrettOct 23 11:12p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) has been ruled out for the remainder of the team's Week 8 game Thursday, Oct. 23, with a shoulder injury. He was [ More ]

Andre EllingtonOct 23 11:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) said the partially torn tendon in his foot probably won't feel better until after the year. 'I understand it's never going to feel [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 23 09:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could return in Week 11, according to head coach Jay Gruden. 'I would think - I would guarantee Tampa, most likely, unless [ More ]

Don McGeeOct 23 08:52p

St. Louis Rams CB Janoris Jenkins (knee) and C Tim Barnes (shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. FS T.J. McDonald (concussion), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), CB Trumaine Johnson [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 23 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks DE Michael Bennett (toe), DT Kevin Williams (undisclosed), WR Bryan Walters (concussion), CB Byron Maxwell (calf) and C Max Unger (foot) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 23 07:42p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) and S Rashad Johnson (knee) were limited participants in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Troy Niklas (ankle) did not participate in practice and [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 23 07:22p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LBs Brooks Reed (groin), John Simon (ankle) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB [ More ]

Calais CampbellOct 23 07:12p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) returned to practice and was limited Thursday, Oct. 23. Campbell injured his right medial collateral ligament in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos.

Kapri BibbsOct 23 07:02p

The Denver Broncos have declared OG Ben Garland, RB Kapri Bibbs, OT Michael Schofield, DL Mitch Unrein, RB Montee Ball, S Omar Bolden, LB Steven Johnson inactive for Week 8.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group