After releasing kicker Alex Henery on Monday, the Detroit Lions are now hoping that third the time will be the charm as they move forward with Pro Bowl kicker Matt Prater. The Lions chose Prater over former Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely and former Tampa Bay kicker Connor Barth, who were all part of a kicker tryout in Allen Park, Michigan to replace Alex Henery, who was cut Monday after missing three field goals, including one that would have potentially won the game, on Sunday during a 17-14 loss to Buffalo.
By now everyone knows that the Lions have had plenty of kicking woes this season when it comes to field goals. The Lions drafted Freese in the seventh round of the 2014 draft and the former Boston College standout “beat out” Giorgio Tavecchio during training camp. However, once the season was underway, he only made 3-of-7 field goals during the first three weeks of the season causing the Lions to waived him in favor of Henery, who went 1-of-5 over the past two weeks., including the three missed field goals last Sunday. Allowing Henery and Freese to go 4-of-12 field goal attempts and 1-of-9 from beyond 40 yards over the first five weeks.
I don’t know about you but I think the Lions made the right decision with Prater. Last season, Prater went 25-for-26 on field goals while making all 75 of his extra points. Not to long ago, he was considered by some to be the best kicker in the NFL, after he made 51-of-54 attempts in the fourth quarter or overtime, not to mention the 64-yard field goal he made last season. Although, he has had some off the field issues recently, considering Prater was released by the Broncos, as soon as he was set to return from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. I still like to think Caldwell and his staff can keep him in check and out of trouble. Plus, he has a long track record for hitting kicks from everywhere, and doing so in the clutch, making him a good consistent piece that the Lions should be able to count on.
The point being that Prater is capable and proven, which is what the Lions want and need in their kicker at this point in the season.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
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