Sunday, February 7, 2010
The Matt Stover decision
By Calvin Watkins
MIAMI -- Colts kicker Matt Stover is 42 years old and looked like it Sunday in the loss to the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV.
Stover, a Lake Highlands product, is thinking of retirement. He wasn't on the Colts roster at the start of the regular season because he was unemployed.
When Adam Vinatieri needed knee surgery, that was the only reason he was signed. However, the Jets, Giants and Browns expressed interest in Stover.
But now Stover is a free agent after a Super Bowl in which he went 1-for-2 on field goal tries. His miss from 51 yards was wide left.
When Stover attempted the kick, his foot hit the ground first then the ball. Stover turned away and pointed his index fingers up, as he always does -- good or bad.
This one wasn't good.
The fourth-quarter decision to attempt such a long kick was interesting.
The Colts led, 17-16, and were faced with a fourth-and-11 at the Saints 33. After the miss, the Saints got the ball, scored a touchdown and converted a two-point conversion to take a 24-17 lead they would not give up.
"There's no reason to believe that he wouldn't make it; he just happened to miss it," Colts coach Jim Caldwell said.
Stover hadn't made a kick from beyond 50 yards since the 2006 season. If a kicker can't make it from that range on a consistent basis, finding employment for the next year could be difficult.