AFC East: Matt Prater

AFC East got its kicks in Week 6

October, 20, 2010
Before we turn our full attention to Week 7, let's stop for a few moments and consider how great Sunday was for the AFC East's foot practitioners.

All three kickers made critical kicks, with two of them winning games in sudden death.

All three punters had nice afternoons, with two of them making influential overtime punts.

It should also be noted in each case the punter acts as his team's holder on field goals.

The Buffalo Bills were on their bye week, and they have one of the league's best kicker-punter combos in Rian Lindell and Brian Moorman.

New England Patriots

In overtime, Zoltan Mesko boomed a 65-yarder calls the punt of the year. The Patriots were on their own 16, but Mesko's leg flipped the field, putting the Baltimore Ravens on their own 19-yard line.

On the Patriots' next possession, Stephen Gostkowski ended the game with a 35-yard field goal. Gostkowski forced overtime with a 24-yard field goal inside the final two minutes of regulation.

Miami Dolphins

In overtime, Brandon Fields punted 50 yards, and the Green Bay Packers committed an illegal block on the return to pin them at their own 16.

On the Dolphins' next possession, Dan Carpenter won it with a 44-yard field goal. Carpenter made two field goals in regulation from a career-long 53 yards and 41 yards.

New York Jets

Nick Folk kicked a club-record 56-yard field goal in a victory over the Denver Broncos, who got a 59-yard field goal from Matt Prater. It was the first game in NFL history opposing kickers each made a field goal from at least 55 yards.

Jets punter Steve Weatherford posted a 48.6-yard average and skied one for a fair catch at the Broncos' 6-yard line early in the fourth quarter. After a three-and-out series for the Broncos, the Jets needed only five plays to score the tying touchdown on their next drive.

Wrap-up: Broncos 20, Patriots 17

October, 11, 2009

Posted by's Tim Graham

The mood must be dreary in New England.

One the same day the Boston Red Sox were swept from the playoffs, the New England Patriots failed to close out a quality opponent and were caught from behind.

The Denver Broncos scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to force overtime and beat the Patriots 20-17 at Invesco Field.

Broncos head coach and former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels exhibited rookie enthusiasm after the game, apparently snubbing old boss Bill Belichick to run toward and end zone and pump his first for the fans. Belichick searched for McDaniels to congratulate him, but wandered off the field with a perplexed look on his face.

The Patriots are 3-2, muddling the AFC East standings.

The Miami Dolphins (1-3) actually can pull within a game of first place if they defeat the New York Jets (3-1) at home Monday night.

The Patriots scored the first 10 points and led 17-7 at halftime, but their lead could have been greater if not for a Logan Mankins personal foul that pushed them out of field-goal range.

McDaniels was comfortable throwing throughout the afternoon. Kyle Orton completed 35 of his 48 attempts for 330 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.

The Broncos tied the game with 5:27 left in regulation on an 11-yard pass to Brandon Marshall.

Tom Brady had a chance to stick it to his old play-caller with a late drive. New England had the ball at the Denver 49-yard line right after the two-minute warning, but Mike Nolan's defense maintained the second-half shutout when Vonnie Holliday forced a Brady fumble.

The Broncos won the coin flip to start sudden death, and the Patriots offense never took the field. Matt Prater kicked a 41-yard field goal for victory.

Brady was 19 of 33 for 215 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, but the Broncos removed Randy Moss from the game.

Moss finished with as many catches on defense as he had on offense. Put on the field at the end of the first half to prevent a Hail Mary pass, Moss came down with an interception. He had one catch for 36 yards on offense.