ORCHARD PARK – Detroit Lions fans have gotten so used to kicker Matt Prater being just about as automatic as they come late in games, they probably had to do a double take when the officials signaled his late fourth-quarter field goal try was no good Sunday.
Prater missed wide right on a 48-yard attempt with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter that would have given the Lions a 16-14 lead in what eventually turned into a 14-13 defeat. The loss ended any hopes of the Lions making the playoffs.
It’s a kick in that situation Prater hasn’t missed in three years, and it had him frustrated in the locker room after the game.
“I just didn’t hit it where I wanted to hit it,” he said. “I don’t have an excuse. I let everyone down, including myself. I expect to make those kicks and I have in the past, so it’s frustrating anytime you don’t come through when you get a big opportunity for your team. It’s frustrating for sure.”
Prater said the wind was a little right to left, but he simply pushed it farther right than he wanted.
He entered the game with one of the best field goal percentages in the NFL. He’s hit 24 of his 27 attempts this season, but was 0-for-1 Sunday, and it was a big miss.
“Hopefully learn from it and don’t let history repeat itself,” Prater said.