the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, November 28, 2011

NFL Week 12: Broncos 16-13 Over Chargers, Novak & Prater

Both kickers got a shot at a game winning field goal attempt during overtime between Denver and San Diego. Chargers kicker Nick Novak actually had two attempts, although the first one technically did not count due to a last second timeout by the Broncos. It worked to his advantage as the kick was blocked. On the re-kick, things still didn't work out, as his 53 yarder went wide right.
"It was a very nice night, you know, perfect conditions. I had a good warm-up and felt like I hit that ball pretty decent. To make the first kick of the game from 53 (yards) gives you a lot of confidence for the next kicks that come. So, you know, I just take ’em as they come. I just take one kick at a time. I took that one in overtime as the next kick for me and that’s all I was focused on, even though I made one from the same distance earlier in the game... I expected to make all those attempts."
Novak will now need to put that behind him and move onward as usual. Punter and holder Mike Scifres doesn't anticipate that will be a problem:
"[Novak’s] like Nate [Kaeding]. He’s probably one of the more mentally tough guys I’ve been around. I’ve been fortunate with those two [that] the mental game is not an issue with either one of them, and that’s huge for a kicker. Nick’s a perfectionist, like a lot of kickers are. And it shows in how he goes about his work Monday through Saturday and in pregame on Sunday and in the game on Sunday. He’s dialed in from Day One and that’s what you want in your kicker. Mentally, he’s in the game at all times.”
Although Matt Prater​ had to wait for his chance until there was only 29 seconds left in the extra period, the Broncos made it a little easier for him - setting him up with a 37 yard attempt. His kick was good. As he simply stated afterward, such opportunities are what he eagerly awaits:
"As a kicker, that's what you look for. Just like a quarterback looks for that 2-minute drive for a touchdown to win it at the end."

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