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Matt Prater was “clueless” about his record field goal

Matt Prater, Britton Colquitt AP

Sure, Broncos kicker Matt Prater knew what the NFL record for the longest field goal was.

He just didn’t know he was going to be asked to break it.

Prater said he was caught off guard when asked to kick a 64-yard attempt just before halftime yesterday, which he nailed to establish a new distance record.

I was clueless,” Prater said, via Mike Klis of the Denver Post. “I didn’t know he was going to call for the field goal. I didn’t know the kick would be from where it was. I think it helped me to get out there late. Because I had to rush out there, I didn’t have much time to think about it.”

Maybe that helped, because he drilled it, eclipsing the previous mark of 63 set by Tom Dempsey, Jason Elam, Sebastian Janikowski and David Akers.

Elam and Janikowski hit theirs in Denver also, but Prater said he thought the bitter cold negated any advantage the altitude gave him.

Of course, Prater wasn’t the only one unaware. Long snapper Aaron Brewer said he realized it was long, and just wanted to make sure he did his part to prevent a long return such as the Auburn win over Alabama the weekend before.

“I didn’t know it was for the longest,” Brewer said. “I just knew I was supposed to run down and cover it. So I ran down and turned around and everyone was going crazy. It was pretty cool.”

For a bunch of guys who barely know where they are on the field, they’re pretty good at their jobs.

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38 Responses to “Matt Prater was “clueless” about his record field goal”
  1. thepftpoet says: Dec 9, 2013 1:40 PM

    Matt Prater dreams about being as good of a kicker as Blair Walsh

  2. bpearse230 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:44 PM

    According to MMQB, Prater knew how long it was when he got out there and knew it was for the record. He just wasn’t expecting the team to ask him to kick from that far due to the conditions.

  3. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 9, 2013 1:46 PM

    * at altitude

    The only kick that rivals Tom Dempsey’s 63 kick is Akers 63 yard kick at Lambeau (with modern “doctored” kicking ball)

  4. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 9, 2013 1:47 PM

    Tom Dempsey’s 63 yard kick in 1970 would have been an 83 yard kick at Mile High altitude.

  5. joetoronto says: Dec 9, 2013 1:47 PM

    No way he makes that kick anywhere but in Denver.

  6. xxwhodatxx says: Dec 9, 2013 1:48 PM

    Congrats to Prater but there’s something to be said about kicking in Denver at altitude. It’s just easier to kick a long field goal there than anywhere else and that should be taken into consideration.

  7. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Dec 9, 2013 1:53 PM

    Jeesh…, what’s with all the hate on Prater? I’m no Denver fan, but you gotta acknowledge the ‘feat’(haha).

    Anyway that football is a rock in bitter cold weather regardless of altitude so it definately took something. I’ve always questioned Dempsey’s kick because he had a metal plate on his shoe, but would never hate on the guy for it…

    Have some class people!

  8. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 9, 2013 1:57 PM

    Of the five field goals of 63 yards or more….

    … only Dempsey’s 1970 field goal at Tulane Stadium (16 feet above sea level) and Akers field goal (with modern kicking ball) at Lambeau (640 feet above sea level) were not kicked in Denver.

  9. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 9, 2013 2:00 PM

    I’ll acknowledge your ‘feat’ joke… but… not field goal records at 5280 feet.

  10. coltsreign says: Dec 9, 2013 2:02 PM

    Ignorance is blish when you do the impossible

  11. MCxShow says: Dec 9, 2013 2:02 PM

    Gotta give mad props to Prater’s teammates, who basically stormed the field after the kick to congratulate him on a new, and very impressive, NFL record.

    It’s nice to see a guy like that get that kind of respect, especially when he plays on the same team as Peyton Manning.

  12. jedimasterbates says: Dec 9, 2013 2:03 PM

    Upon hearing about Prater’s record kick, Chuck Norris grabbed a football, ran to the nearest college stadium, and with Clint Eastwood holding, kicked a 65 yarder, into the wind.

  13. ahs2 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:10 PM

    I love all of these physicists negating his kick because of the altitude…you realize it was 20* outside? Do you understand that cold air is more dense than warm air? Just wondering…

  14. charger383 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:18 PM

    A record in Denver is just as good as anywhere the NFL plays, in a dome, at sea level, in a a snowstorm or in Loundon.

  15. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 9, 2013 2:18 PM

    Your aunt could hit a golf ball a kilometer on Mars.

  16. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 9, 2013 2:19 PM

    …or maybe it’s the Moon. Anyway……

  17. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 9, 2013 2:21 PM

    I love Matt Prater. I wish he was the Lions kicker instead of Akers. They didn’t have a roster spot because of ALL those wonderful keepers we gave those spots to.

  18. logicalvoicesaysravensrule says: Dec 9, 2013 2:26 PM

    I don’t care about elevation. If Denver makes it so easy, why did it take so long to break the record? Just give the man his props. No one else has hit 64 yards in Denver before.

  19. fwippel says: Dec 9, 2013 2:26 PM

    Congrats to Prater. That record stood a lot longer than I expected to.

    What makes Dempsey’s kick even more amazing is that took another 16 years for any other kicker to even kick a 60 yard FG, and almost 30 years before any kicker tied that record.

  20. txtuff says: Dec 9, 2013 2:34 PM

    Yes every kicker kicks 64 yard FGs in Denver NOT!! Give the man his due, he is the first to do it anywhere!!

  21. azarkhan says: Dec 9, 2013 2:37 PM

    jetsjetsjetsnow says: Have some class people!

    If you’re expecting the commenter’s here to show some class, you’ve come to the wrong website.

  22. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 9, 2013 2:45 PM

    Do you understand that cold air is more dense than warm air? Just wondering…

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    Density is effected by weather.

    Just because cold air is more dense than warm…. doesn’t mean humidity is not present in the atmosphere.

    When humidity is present… the ball travels farther.

    Dew point was highest at that time of that day.

  23. frostymugobeer says: Dec 9, 2013 2:46 PM

    every kicker in the league gets a chance to kick in Denver eventually….so the record is still just as valid!!!!!!
    great job Matt

    not to mention most NFL kickers kick 60-70 yarders in practice at any elevation…it’s just rare for a coach to try it during a game.

  24. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 9, 2013 2:50 PM

    If Denver makes it so easy, why did it take so long to break the record?
    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    … because teams don’t try 63 or 64 yard field goals in every game.

    Usually…. those long field goal attempts are tried in desperate situations at the end of games… but… rarely do games come to that… and… coaches often have more than a 3 point deficit to make up, too.

  25. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Dec 9, 2013 3:02 PM

    doctorrustbelt says:
    I’ll acknowledge your ‘feat’ joke… but… not field goal records at 5280 feet.

    ++++++++++++

    OMG! Are you people kidding me?? Now besides altitude we’re talking air density, dew point & humidity….

    Unless any of you geniuses are an accomplished physicist that can provide us all an equation that compares sea level with altitude, then formulates in the air density, dew point & humidity of yesterday’s weather conditions and compare it to any given field goal attempt you really are talking out of your derrière and have ‘no leg’ (ha ha) to stand on…

    Get a life!

  26. sactogary says: Dec 9, 2013 3:05 PM

    Any 60+ yard field goal is an awesome accomplishment, and 64 is certainly incredible – altitude or not. However, there are probably a dozen kickers in the NFL who might be able to kick 65.

    The main constraint on breaking the record is that your team has to be in the exact right spot on the field at the very end of the first half (or second half, but only then in a certain scoreboard situations). For kickers like Prater, Janikowski, Zeurlein, et. al., the hardest part is keeping it straight enough from that far out.

    The NCAA record is 69 yards. Just saying.

  27. bennyb82 says: Dec 9, 2013 3:15 PM

    Sportscience needs to do an episode on this…

  28. rajbais says: Dec 9, 2013 3:20 PM

    Well, everyone is clueless enough to credit Tim Tebow for all the victories you bailed is ass out on.

  29. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 9, 2013 3:23 PM

    REMEMBER when Tim Tebow DESTROYED the pittsburgh steelers IN THE PLAYOFFS.

    Good times.

  30. IamtheBucsFan says: Dec 9, 2013 3:47 PM

    Good for Prater. It’s always been a mile high in Denver but never a record kick. I’m sure the ball was a rock. No asterisk on this one.

  31. blackbug99 says: Dec 9, 2013 3:47 PM

    bennyb82 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 3:15 PM
    Sportscience needs to do an episode on this…
    ———————————————————–
    Screw sports science!!! I see a Myth Busters episode :)!!

  32. skimbell says: Dec 9, 2013 3:50 PM

    Ball was probably half full of helium.

  33. sactogary says: Dec 9, 2013 4:06 PM

    rajbais says: Dec 9, 2013 3:20 PM

    Well, everyone is clueless enough to credit Tim Tebow for all the victories you bailed is ass out on.
    ——————————
    Some people just CANNOT accept that Tebow did some good things. Tebowphobes.

  34. dualprime says: Dec 9, 2013 6:08 PM

    doctorrustbelt says:
    Dec 9, 2013 2:45 PM
    Do you understand that cold air is more dense than warm air? Just wondering…

    - – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

    doctorrustbelt says:
    Dec 9, 2013 2:45 PM
    Do you understand that cold air is more dense than warm air? Just wondering…

    - – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

    Density is effected by weather.

    Just because cold air is more dense than warm…. doesn’t mean humidity is not present in the atmosphere.

    When humidity is present… the ball travels farther.

    ——————————————-
    You’re mistaken. Humidity slows the ball down as do low temperatures. Look it up Doc!

  35. runnersaw says: Dec 9, 2013 7:10 PM

    Weather data from the day reports that the air density was equivalent to an average day at 2778 ft. The altitude wasn’t completely negated but that’s still an impressive kick.

  36. fnf417 says: Dec 10, 2013 4:49 AM

    3 out of 4 of the longest field goals kicked have been in Denver it’s clearly easier to kick there let’s see him do it else where then I will be convinced that he deserves this record

  37. keepyerstickontheice says: Dec 10, 2013 8:57 AM

    Not sure I would use the word “eclipsing” to describe a one yard improvement, but ok.

  38. rajbais says: Dec 10, 2013 4:46 PM

    @sactogary

    You’re clueless to not realize that Tebow is and will always be a waste of time.

    Victories vs. mediocre QBs and a one-legged Ben Roethlisberger makes you too fraudulent of a winner.

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