Matt Prater’s 52-yard, game-winning field goal will go down as a pretty ordinary kick in the box score. In today’s NFL, a 50+ yarder isn’t all that special and game-winning kicks happen on a weekly basis.
But when you put that kick into context, it becomes clear just how phenomenal it was. The 23 degree wind chill, the 16 mile per hour winds swirling in just about every direction, the fact that Prater couldn’t get ahold of his kicks during pregame warmups and the Lions weren’t planning on trotting him out there for 52-yard field goals based on his practice limit.
If Prater misses that kick, the Bears get the ball on their own 42-yard line with plenty of time to get into field goal range. Detroit almost certainly loses if that ball doesn’t sail through the uprights.
But Prater destroyed that ball and railed it between the goalposts with near perfection. And, aptly, the internet exploded.
First, let’s get some words from his teammates, both former and present. Sam Martin called it “one of the best kicks I’ve ever seen.”
20+ mph winds from all directions, and the prateshow makes It look easy once again. One of the best kicks I’ve ever seen MattPrater_5— Sam (@SamMartin_6) November 19, 2017
It’s wasn’t one direction. Barth had It in his face as well. Just different cross wind. Which makes praters kick even more impressive https://t.co/DUXYwtvHDW— Sam (@SamMartin_6) November 19, 2017
Former Lions backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky wanted to make sure Sam got his credit, too:
He’s nails guy but I think it’s a 3 part process man and all 3 dudes involved are studs!!!!!!!!!!!!— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) November 19, 2017
And you may think kickers only get respect from other special teamers, but Glover Quin had to give it up for Matt “Money” Prater:
Glover said he told Slay before Prater’s kick, “If Prater makes this kick, he’s the realest. And he hit it right down the middle.”— Tori Petry (@sportstori) November 19, 2017
“Big Cat” of Barstool Sports—a noted Chicago sports fan—said “I hate Prater” after the kick. To which T.J. Lang briefly responded:
Now let’s hear from the man himself:
And now, let’s take a look at the rest of the internet:
MATT PRATER THREE-RUN HOMER— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) November 19, 2017
Matt Prater from 50+ yards is pure.... pic.twitter.com/gsFH9Eah6U— Detroit Sports (@DetSportsEnt) November 19, 2017
If you started right now (10:30 AM) and posted a video of a Matt Prater 50+ yard field goal as a #Lions kicker, and posted a different one every hour on the hour, you would finish tomorrow at 8:30 AM.#ProBowlVote— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) November 20, 2017
But I’ve saved the best for last. Former Colts punter Pat McAfee is carving out a post-NFL career as a sports humorist for Barstool. He has his own podcast, and regularly posts funny videos with his commentary, almost exclusively for special teams plays. His reaction to the Matt Prater kick is Hall of Fame worthy. Note: There is NSFW language in the video below. Enjoy:
BONUS: Here is the Bears’ mascot after Bears kicker Connor Barth tried, and failed, to do his best Matt Prater impression: