If anyone tells you that the longest field goal hit in an NFL game was from 63 yards, they're wrong -- unless they add the qualifier "regular season." It's 65 yards, and it belongs to Kimrin. That the game was a preseason finale doesn't change the fact that the football flew over the crossbar after being launched from 195 feet away.
It's the hope of a unique bit of history like the one Kimrin authored 11 years ago to the day that perks up a game that matters for depth-chart construction, but to many fans is forgotten as soon as the final gun fires.
The humble, then-30-year-old Swede eventually had a brief regular-season stint in Washington two years later, hitting six of 10 field-goal attempts before he was released. Those were his last regular-season kicks in the NFL; by 2006, Kimrin had quietly retired, ending a decade-long American football odyssey that began with a scholarship offer from Texas-El Paso.
There were other names to remember on the stat sheet from that 31-0 Broncos win -- a former Super Bowl MVP (Seattle quarterback Mark Rypien, who never threw another pass in an NFL game after that night), a future NFL MVP (Seattle running back Shaun Alexander) and a future All-Pro who came just 77 yards short of 10,000 rushing yards for his career (Clinton Portis).
But although those names were the most prominent, Kimrin and his kick will be what I remember. Perhaps there will be something unique like it tonight. And if not, there'll be a few questions that get answered.
1. How will the interior offensive line look?
This will be one of the most difficult cuts, as Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase noted this week, and the decisions could come down to Thursday, not only based on performance, but health. Will
2. What does this game mean for
It's another chance for him to play a clean, mistake-free game, something that has eluded him the past two weeks, when he's played the equivalent of just over a full game and thrown two interceptions and lost two fumbles. While his interception last week was attributed by Gase to both Osweiler and receiver
"The fumbles, that cannot happen in that situation," Gase said. "It was two situations for us. It was a four-minute situation and a backed-up situation."
Osweiler showed promise in driving the first team to a touchdown last week; that efficient, 79-yard march on 11 plays offered evidence that if
But errors can undo all of that, and that's what Osweiler must avoid.
3. Who will take the snaps at running back?
This might offer a clue as to the direction in which the Broncos intend to go against Baltimore in Week 1. If Head Coach John Fox opts to play his first-teamers, it will mark the first time he's done that in the preseason finale since 2009. But no matter who the Broncos start with, expect heavy doses of
4. Which young cornerback will assume the most prominent role Thursday night and beyond?
The Broncos have invested mid-round picks in
5. What could this game do for
That depends on how much he plays and how he fares. Gase has emphasized the need for Osweiler to get as many repetitions as possible in the preseason, which has so far limited Dysert to just one quarter of play. His practice-field progress has been steady after a skittish start to training camp; a solid performance Thursday would provide confidence for both himself and the Broncos' faith in the seventh-round pick.