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  1. #1
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    Prater appreciation thread...

    CHICAGO -- Against the run, the Detroit Lions were gashed for 200 yards again. Against the pass, Teez Tabor led them in quarterback pressures. And they won the game 27-24.


    How in the hell does that happen?

    I've been sitting up here in the press box at Soldier Field, staring at this stat from ProFootballFocus. It's incredible. Tabor is a rookie cornerback who has barely touched the field this season. He played just 13 snaps against the Bears. He only tried rushing Mitchell Trubisky twice.

    He got pressure both times.

    And that was somehow enough to lead the defense. In a win. On the road.

    Matthew Stafford deserves credit, and will get it of course. He led yet another fourth-quarter comeback, something he did eight times last year and has now done 31 times in nine years. One is an NFL record, the other is one off an NFL record.

    And we've heard so much about it.

    Less so, though, about Matt Prater.

    Did you know he's teed up 10 potentially game-tying or game-winning field goals in the final four minutes for Detroit? And he has made all of them? Including four from beyond 45 yards, like the one Connor Barth missed Sunday? And a 58-yarder as time expired in Minnesota last year? That's still the second-longest field goal in team history.

    He kicked six game-tying or game-winning field goals in the final minutes last season. He made all of them. And the Lions wound up needing basically every single one of them to scrape into the postseason.

    Prater is so good, so clutch, and criminally underrated for his role in finishing off Stafford's comebacks the last couple years.

    But perhaps nothing he's done in Detroit was more impressive than that 52-yarder he beat Chicago with on Sunday.

    The announced temperature at kickoff was 36 degrees, although the wind made it feel so much colder on the field. And it was swirling. Prater spent warmups trying to figure out what exactly was going on, and didn't having much success doing it.

    He couldn't hit squat from beyond 45 yards.

    "Extra point," Prater would say after the game, when asked at what range he felt comfortable. "And that was about it."

    But the Lions found themselves locked in a 24-24 tie with 1:35 left, and needing 52 yards to preserve their fragile title hopes for another week. Jim Caldwell knew that was well beyond Prater's range for the day, but he didn't have much choice either. So he sent Prater out there.

    And Prater delivered again, pounding that thing right down the middle of the uprights.

    "That dude has ice in his veins man," defensive tackle Akeem Spence said. "That's what I told him. I'm like, 'Bro, you got ice in your veins. It's windy as hell out here in Chicago, and you come up here and bang a 52-yard field goal like it's nothing? Right down the pipe?'

    "That's Prater, man."

    With three field goals of 55 yards in 2017, Prater has already set an NFL record. With 11 field goals of at least 55 yards for his career, Prater already is the greatest long-distance shooter in Lions history. Only Sebastian Janikowski has more in NFL history.

    After just 53 games, Detroit's longest field-goal list now reads like this: Matt Prater (59 yards), Matt Prater (58 yards), Matt Prater (58 yards) and Matt Prater (57 yards). And the Lions have had some pretty good kickers over the years.

    The numbers are staggering, but not many were harder or more badly needed than this one. And it came with the coach who gave up on him, John Fox, standing on the other sideline.

    "It was pretty difficult, with the winds gusty," Prater said. "I couldn't really tell what it was doing. Good thing I had Sam (Martin) kind of caddying me. He said, 'Play it at the left upright.' He was jumping on me. I kind of lost it. I started yelling at Coach Fox, maybe. It was fun."

    Prater's blast gives Detroit a win it needed to preserve its fragile title hopes. It now returns to Ford Field to face Minnesota in a showdown of the last two teams with a realistic chance to win the NFC North.

    The Vikings have won six straight, and would have taken a commanding three-game lead with six to go had the Lions lost. But the Lions won, which means they have chance to pull within just one game with a victory on Thanksgiving.

    This was one big kick.

    "He's incredible," Caldwell said. "You even look through the years, we've come from beyond in a bunch of different games, and had to win them at the end, and and he's been a huge part of that."

    The Lions are flawed, in some places deeply so. Their run defense is bad, their run offense is somehow worse, and their red-zone offense comes and goes as it pleases. They're playing without their best defensive tackle and their best defensive end. A rookie corner just led their pass rush with two QB pressures.

    But they continue to win.

    Playing like this, that won't last long. But 11 weeks into the season, they're still not out of it. And with just one winning team left on the schedule, they remain very much in it thanks to that big right leg of Matt Prater.

    "He's got ice in his veins, man," Spence said. "He's a dog."
    To go from Hanson to Prater is pretty damn cool. Maybe thatís our legacy.. Green Bay gets back to back Hof QBís & we get back to back Hof kickers!
    ^^ Our 27th Savior ^^

    click here to join the Lions Forum
    SE7EN time OTT Winner#1,#6,#10,#12, #14, #24 & #27
    Quote Originally Posted by GuySir View Post
    LFFS is the master at going from goofball to boss

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionsfanfromsac View Post
    To go from Hanson to Prater is pretty damn cool. Maybe thatís our legacy.. Green Bay gets back to back Hof QBís & we get back to back Hof kickers!
    Our best player once again is a kicker lol

  3. #3
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    Every time I see him make a field goal I appreciate him that much more. I remember the trash that came before him (not including Hanson obviously) and how it seemed impossible to make a field goal. He makes it look so easy and stress free, which is much appreciated.

  4. #4
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    Prater was the guy winning all the games for the broncos when tebow was the too lol
    2014 Prediction Game Champion

  5. #5
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    May 2012
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    Stafford

    Slay

    Prater

  6. #6
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    How much you guys want to bet Prater misses a last second FG to win the last game of the season that would have gotten us to the post season?

  7. #7
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    Oct 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocket View Post
    Stafford

    Slay

    Prater
    Taylor Decker too.

    also id argue quin is the best player on our team.
    Quote Originally Posted by NormSizedMidget View Post
    It's different now than it was.

    When he won the second one, Giants fans are here we're outside of their minds.
    That quote always cracks me up.

  8. #8
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    Matt Prater - best player on the Lions.

  9. #9
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    The best player on the Lions is still not very good
    2014 Prediction Game Champion

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahoda View Post
    How much you guys want to bet Prater misses a last second FG to win the last game of the season that would have gotten us to the post season?
    book it

  11. #11
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    Jun 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by LionsFan..LOL View Post
    Every time I see him make a field goal I appreciate him that much more. I remember the trash that came before him (not including Hanson obviously) and how it seemed impossible to make a field goal. He makes it look so easy and stress free, which is much appreciated.
    Do you remember how bad it was for that time between hanson and prater??? Like **** I thought we had nothing left to cheer about. The last step had been taken to kill the lions...pathetic at everything..even kicking.

    And then the King of The North was discovered

  12. #12
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    The fact Prater is a drunk is the reason I think most of you guys like him so much.

  13. #13
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    Ex-drunk

  14. #14
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    Man I remember not too long ago we were missing so many FGs with unknown kickers. I think one was even a rookie.
    2015 Detroit Lions Prediction Game WINNER

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahoda View Post
    The fact Prater is a drunk is the reason I think most of you guys like him so much.
    Great sig!!

    And yes, blue collar drunks are A-1 in my book!!
    ^^ Our 27th Savior ^^

    click here to join the Lions Forum
    SE7EN time OTT Winner#1,#6,#10,#12, #14, #24 & #27
    Quote Originally Posted by GuySir View Post
    LFFS is the master at going from goofball to boss

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