2. Thanksgiving 2016: Prater becomes a Detroit Lions legend
After what he’d done to them just eighteen days before, the last man the Minnesota Vikings wanted to see towards the end of the game was Matt Prater. Sure enough, Prater not only played a major role in the Lions’ 2016 Thanksgiving feast, but he served double helpings of his right thigh to the Vikings in the final two minutes.
Trailing 13-10 with five minutes left, Stafford took the offense from their own two yard line on a 10 play, 67 yard drive to move into field goal range. Hardly a chip shot, a 48-yarder from Prater found the back of the net to tie the game with 1:45 left. With a pleasantly optimistic crowd roaring behind them, Darius Slay jumped a route a few plays later, picking off Case Keenum on 3rd down and returning it well inside of Viking territory.
Thanks to the biggest play in “Big Play” Slay’s Lions career, all Matthew Stafford had to do was take a knee to set up Prater on the final play of the game. As Lions fans, we’ve become conditioned to expect the worst at all time, but Prater lining up from 40-yards out with four seconds on the clock was one of those rare times that I had absolutely no doubt he would come through and deliver the win.
After what he’d done to them just eighteen days before, I’m pretty sure the Minnesota Vikings had no doubt about this one either. Unlike a few of the kicks on this list, the Thanksgiving game winner was true from the moment it left Prater’s foot, giving the Lions a season sweep against a division rival, and moving them into first place in the division at the time, still one of the most satisfying wins of the decade in Detroit.
Game highlights HERE via the NFL’s official YouTube channel.