Cardinals’ Matt Prater felt for Vikings K Greg Joseph after deciding FG miss

Sep 20, 2021, 11:20 AM | Updated: Sep 21, 2021, 4:05 am
Arizona Cardinals kicker Matt Prater (5) talks with Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph (1) after ...

Arizona Cardinals kicker Matt Prater (5) talks with Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph (1) after an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 34-33. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Cardinals kicker Matt Prater made a field goal few people would expect him to convert at the end of the first half on Sunday.

His Minnesota Vikings counterpart, Greg Joseph, missed a gimme in the final seconds, giving Arizona a 34-33 win at State Farm Stadium. Joseph also missed an extra point earlier in the game that would have made up that one-point Vikings deficit.

So even after the Cardinals walked off the field victorious, Prater, who joined Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Monday, couldn’t help but feel for his opponent working in a niche and unforgiving profession.

“You never hope anyone screws up,” Prater said of Joseph’s missed 37-yarder at the end of the game. “I felt bad for him. I talked to him for a minute after, I could tell he was pretty upset, obviously. It stinks when something like that happens. I’m happy we got the win but not like that.

“I just told him, I said, ‘You know how good you are. You just got to go out there and keep swinging, man. Hopefully it’ll straighten itself out.'”

Joseph, who has 16 games and 24 field goals of NFL experience, could now be at risk of losing his job — or at least on a hot sea — having made two mistakes that cost a desperate 0-2 Vikings squad. That’s despite nailing two 52-yarders to keep Minnesota in the high-scoring back-and-forth against the Cardinals.

Prater, with his 205 games and 390 career field goal attempts, was signed by Arizona with a priority being put on winning close games.

The 37-year-old has the most 50-yard-plus field goals made and the longest in league history, a 64-yarder for the Denver Broncos in 2013.

He got close to that mark Sunday with a 62-yard make before halftime to set the Cardinals franchise record.

Prater said the ball felt good off his foot on the long kick, which gave Arizona a 24-23 halftime lead.

“Guys ask me why I keep my head down, so that I can feel it,” Prater told Bickley & Marotta. “If I make good contact or like the way it felt on my foot, I keep my head down. If I ever look up quick that means I screwed up.

“The one yesterday felt pretty good. I don’t know if I could hit it much better than that. Luckily it went straight.”

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