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Prater Named Special Teams Player of the Week

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Kicker Matt Prater was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after setting an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal in Denver’s win vs. Tennessee.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –On the heels of his record-setting 64-yard field goal in Denver’s 51-28 Week 14 win, kicker Matt Prater was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, the league announced on Wednesday.

Prater connected on the 64-yard kick as time expired at the end of the first half to pull the Broncos to within one point at 21-20 at the intermission.

“You know, it was so cold – I knew I had hit it pretty good but I just wasn’t sure with the cold and everything if it was going to make it,” Prater said. “But then when I saw the ref’s hands go up, I can’t even explain how I felt after.”

Prater’s kick broke Tom Dempsey’s record of a 63-yard field goal that had stood for over 43 years – and had been equaled by Sebastian Janikowski, David Akers and former Broncos kicker Jason Elam.

Momentum from the record-breaking boot helped spark the team to outscore the Titans 31-7 in the second half to earn the club’s 11th victory of the season.

“Britton and I were joking about it at halftime. I said to him, ‘Aren’t we still down by one right now,” Prater laughed. “We started laughing about it. But came back and had a good second half.”

In addition to converting the longest field goal in NFL history, Prater knocked through the one of the shortest possible field goals – a 19-yard kick – as well as a 25-yarder to go with six extra points against Tennessee. Prater’s 15 points in the game matched his career high and led all players in Week 14.

Prater showed his leg strength in the win despite the bitter cold temperatures that makes kicking more difficult. In addition to the record-long field goal, Prater put eight of his nine kickoffs in the end zone with four of them going for touchbacks.

On the season, Prater has recorded 66 touchbacks, which is two short of the all-time NFL single-season record. The second-best touchback total this year belongs to New England’s Stephen Gostkowski, who trails Prater by 15 touchbacks.

Prater, who was the last kicker in the league to miss a field goal attempt this year, is 18-of-19 on field goals for the season, making him one of just three kickers that has only missed one kick. He is perfect on 65 extra point attempts – 25 more than the next best in that category.

The all-time Broncos leader in field goal accuracy, Prater has converted 134-of-163 attempts (.822 pct.) in his first six seasons with the team. He leads all NFL players since 1970 having converted 20-of-26 (.769 pct.) of his career attempts from 50-yards or farther.

The weekly honor is the fifth of his career (2008, ‘09, ‘11, ’12) and is the second AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award given to a Bronco this season joining Trindon Holliday, who earned the accolade in Week 2.

Denver has been awarded seven conference player of the week honors this year. Peyton Manning has earned two and Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Holliday and now Prater have each received one.

Overall, this marks the 25th time a Broncos player has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

“It was an awesome experience,” Prater said. “I’m glad we came out with the win and everything else.”

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