GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jay Feely had a Sunday to forget.
The Arizona Cardinals’ kicker missed a pair of field goals, from 37 yards out in the first quarter and 43 yards in the fourth, while his team lost its season finale to the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 23-20.
When asked what he said to his kicker, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians responded, “Nothing.”
The fact that Feely made good on two other kicks, a 49-yarder early in the fourth quarter and a game-tying 43-yard kick with 29 seconds remaining in the game, didn’t seem to matter much when the game was over.
“No, I just have to make those kicks,” Feely said when asked about his two misses. “There’s no excuse. No reason not to.”
A total of three field goals were missed Sunday (two by Feely, one by San Francisco’s Phil Dawson), and it’s interesting to note that all three were attempted in the southern end of the stadium. With new sod in place ahead of Wednesday’s Fiesta Bowl, it’s possible there was something not quite right about that part of the field.
“That was me,” Dawson said of his miss. “That was a good old-fashioned miss.”
Dawson credited Arizona’s field goal rush unit, saying it puts a lot of pressure on a kicker.
“If anything goes wrong, including a bad kick, it’s exaggerated,” he added.
Still, Dawson had made 27 consecutive field goals before his second quarter miss from 24-yards out, and Feely had made six straight — including the game-winner in Tennessee just two weeks ago — before Sunday’s game.
This was two of the more reliable kickers in the game struggling to convert very makeable attempts.
“I missed them both right,” Feely said. “You’ve got to finish. Anything I told you, it doesn’t matter. You’ve just got to make those kicks. You’ve got to come through for your team. It hurts when you don’t.”