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Wednesday, October 3, 2012
NFL honors Matt Prater

By Bill Williamson

Matt Prater didn’t kick a game-winning field goal Sunday. He didn’t need to. His Denver Broncos smoked the Oakland Raiders, 37-6.

Still, Prater found a way to contribute in the blowout by dominating every time his foot hit the ball, and that’s why the team announced he is the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

The underrated Prater was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and produced touchbacks on all eight of his kickoffs. That is the second most touchbacks by a kicker in a game, and he is the only kicker to have a perfect kickoff percentage with at least eight kickoffs since at least 1994, according to the Broncos.

Prater’s 53-yard field goal in the fourth quarter increased his career percentage from 50 or more yards to 77.8 percent (14-of-18). It is the best percentage since the 1970 merger. He also added to another NFL record he owns when he was 2-of-2 on field goals in the fourth quarter. His career percentage in the fourth quarter is 96.4 percent (27-of-28).

Prater’s dominant performance showed kickers can make headlines in blowouts, too.