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Chandler Catanzaro notches first game-winner as a Cardinal

Cardinals Chandler Catanzaro, center, celebrates his game-winning field goal with Darren Fells, right, and Earl Watford, left, in the second half Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro said he always envisions getting an opportunity to kick a game-winning field goal. However, he had never actually had a chance as a professional.

Until Sunday.

Catanzaro was sent out onto the field with six seconds remaining and the score tied at 31, and shortly thereafter he exited the field having knocked a 32-yard attempt through the uprights. It was his second made field goal of the night — he converted a 24-yard attempt earlier in the fourth quarter — and he was perfect on his four extra point attempts.

“I had a little bit of butterflies, but not really,” he said. “I just knew to trust my process and go through with that and focus entirely on that. The snap and hold were great as always, the blocking up front was great, as always.

“There’s four parts to every kick: the snap, hold, the blocking up front and the kick, and I’m thankful for those guys up front. They get a lot of credit for blocking for me and the snap and hold were great.”

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said it was really nice to see Catanzaro come through like he did, adding “he has been kicking it very well.”

A second-year player out of Clemson, Catanzaro has made 47 of 53 career field goal attempts, along with 65 of 67 extra points. He has been effective on kickoffs, too, but there is of course something different about essentially winning a game like he did Sunday.

But for Catanzaro,  the key was treating it like any other attempt.

Up to it, anyway. Once it went through the uprights, it was time to celebrate.

“Just a rush, I guess,” he said of his thoughts when he made the kick. “I just kind of went berserk. I think (long-snapper Mike Leach) grabbed me there for a little bit. I don’t want to run away from the guys, but I think it’s just instinct, maybe from my soccer days. Man, we had so much fun out there, I’m just thankful for Carson and the offense putting me in position to win the game and I’m glad I could get it done for the guys in the locker room.”

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