Counting down the greatest hits of one of the Detroit Lions’ greatest kickers
In his seven seasons as kicker for the Detroit Lions, Matt Prater has done more than enough to etch his name alongside Jason Hanson’s as two of the team’s all-time greats at the position. Though he’s only been in Motown for about a third of the time as Hanson, Prater arguably has already produced more classic moments as a Lion than the NFL’s 4th all-time leading scorer.
While 2020 has, by his standards, been something of a down year for Prater, he’s already added another handful of game winning kicks to his impressive career mixtape. Sunday’s 59-yarder to rescue the game against Washington is yet another example of why we should never take the superhuman clutch gene of Prater for granted, and why we should all be hoping he can achieve a similar longevity to Hanson’s twenty-one years in Detroit.
Here’s my countdown of Matt Prater’s Top 5 Moments since arriving in Detroit in 2014, as well as a few memorable honorable mentions.
Matt Prater’s Greatest Moments for the Detroit Lions
- Monday Night crossbar shot (2017)- Prater hits from 56 yards out at the end of the half in New York, softly dropping over the crossbar after drilling it on the fly.
- 52-yard game winner in the Windy City (2017)- Nearing winter outdoors in Chicago is hardly an ideal environment for long field goal. That is, if you’re not Matt Prater. Prater’s 52-yarder was so perfectly straight that it drilled the goalpost stanchion after clearing the bar, giving the Lions a three point lead inside the two minute warning. His counterpart, Bears kicker Connor Barth, wasn’t up for the task as he shanked one from six yards closer on the final play of the game
- The 48 yard extra point (2020)- Since the NFL moved back the extra point spot to 33 yards out in 2015, a handful of kickers have had to overcome a 15-yard penalty tacked on before the attempt. To my knowledge, no one has had to do so with the score tied and zero seconds left on the clock. Following up Matthew Stafford’s touchdown to TJ Hockenson on the final play, drilling the longest game winning extra point in NFL history was just another day at the office for Prater.