The NFL announced on Wednesday that Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater has won the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award for Week 9. This honor should come as no surprise given his outstanding performance against the Minnesota Vikings.
Not only did Prater kick a game-tying 58-yard field goal with two seconds left to send the game into overtime— the second-longest field goal in team history and the longest game-winning or game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter or overtime—but he also added a 47-yarder and a 53-yarder. Prater is now a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals of 50+ yards, trailing only Adam Vinitieri, who is 5-for-5.
Prater is the first and only other Lions kicker to win the award since Jason Hanson, who received this honor 12 times in his 21-year career with the Lions. Prater had earned this award five times while playing with the Denver Broncos before coming to Detroit.
This is actually the second time a Lions player has earned Special Teams Player of the Week honors in 2016. Punter Sam Martin was given the title after his Week 1 performance against the Indianapolis Colts. Special teams coordinator Joe Marciano deserves come credit for the Lions’ outstanding special teams play.