Matt Prater is 25-for-25 on clutch kicks: “I don’t doubt myself”

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Lions kicker Matt Prater hit a fourth-quarter field goal to tie the game against the Vikings yesterday, and another fourth-quarter field goal minutes later to win the game. That made him a perfect 25-for-25 in his career when attempting game-tying or go-ahead field goals in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Given that record, Prater was asked after the game if he has ice water in his veins.

“I don’t know if I would I’d say ice-cold veins, just, you know, I have a lot of confidence in what we’re doing as far as a unit with guys up front,” Prater said. “Mule [Don Muhlbach] snapping, Sam [Martin] holding and you know, I just have a lot of confidence where I don’t doubt myself. Basically I have the same mind-set as an extra point in the first quarter where I don’t go out and ever expect that I’m not going to make the kick, so maybe, I don’t know, maybe I’ve been a little luckier maybe.”

The Lions didn’t doubt Prater, either. In fact, Lions coach Jim Caldwell made a curious decision to simply kneel on the ball and run 30 seconds off the clock before calling timeout and setting up Prater’s field goal on the final play, rather than trying to pick up some yardage. Given that Prater missed an extra point last week, his 40-yard game-winner was no sure thing. But Prater said afterward that Caldwell made the right call in simply assuming that he’d make the kick.

“You know, from that spot, it’s still a short enough kick where you should be making that kick 100 percent of the time,” Prater said.

Prater has made game-tying and game-winning field goals 100 percent of the time in his career, and the Lions are thankful for that.