Cardinals kicker Catanzaro cuts it loose, makes another game-winner

Dec 11, 2015, 10:13 AM
Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) watches his field goal split the uprights as Drew B...
Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) watches his field goal split the uprights as Drew Butler (2) holds and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels (35) tries to block during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Last season, as a rookie, Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro never once took the field with an opportunity to make a game-winning kick late in the game.

He’s now done it in each of the Cardinals’ last two home games, with his 32-yard kick beating the Cincinnati Bengals 34-31 in Week 11 and a 47-yard blast propelling the Cardinals past the Minnesota Vikings 23-20.

“That one felt good; that one felt really good,” Catanzaro said of Thursday’s. “Like I’ve said before, there are four parts to every kick. The blocking up front was great, as always, the snap by Mike Leach was awesome, the hold by Drew Butler was awesome.

“The kick felt great off my foot; I knew as soon as it left my foot it was going in.”

Both kicks helped the Cardinals avoid late collapses, and each came in front of a national television audience.

Including Thursday’s effort, Catanzaro is now 25-of-27 this year on field goal attempts and 44-of-47 on PATs. The second year player out of Clemson has proven to be a reliable weapon for head coach Bruce Arians to turn to, and now he’s starting to show he is clutch, too.

Confidence was never an issue.

“There was never a doubt in my mind, really,” he said. “I gave myself permission to cut it loose out there. I have been hitting it great, so I just went out there and trusted my swing.

“I kicked to make the kick, not to miss the kick. I gave myself permission to cut it loose and I am glad I got it done.”

Who isn’t?

Not surprisingly, Catanzaro said making game-winning kicks never gets old. They’re awesome, he noted, and you have to cherish moments like that and enjoy them.

The 24-year-old is thankful for the opportunity — both to kick in the NFL and have a chance to lift his team to victory with his right leg.

“The quote game-winning kick, yeah, I treat every kick like a game-winner, but those are definitely special,” he said. “It was definitely key for me to kick, to make the kick and not to miss the kick — if that makes sense — and just cut it loose.”

 

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Minnesota Vikings Anthony Harris (41) breaks up a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings with Larry Fitzgerald (11) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) sits on the field after fumbling as Arizona Cardinals nose tackle Josh Mauro (97) celebrates during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) fumbles after being hit by Arizona Cardinals nose tackle Josh Mauro (97) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) sits on the turf after fumbling against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) breaks up a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver J.J. Nelson (14) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals strong safety Deone Bucannon (20) celebrates a stop against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws under pressure from Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is hit by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) and Anthony Harris (41) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) pulls in a touchdown catch against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) watches his field goal split the uprights as Drew Butler (2) holds and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels (35) tries to block during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) celebrates his field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings with Drew Butler (2) and Calais Campbell (93) , Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) holds up the football after a fumble recovery for the win against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 23-20. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Dwight Freeney (54) forces Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) to fumble during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals recovered the ball to secure the 23-20 win. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Dwight Freeney (54) forces Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) to fumble during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals recovered the ball to secure the 23-20 win. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) holds up the football after a fumble recovery for the win against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 23-20. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) greets Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) after an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 23-20. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) meet at mid field after an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 23-20. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, left, talks with Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer prior to an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws during warm ups prior to an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) kicks a field goal as Drew Butler (2) holds during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) celebrates his touchdown run against the Arizona Cardinals with teammate Stefon Diggs (14) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) breaks free from Arizona Cardinals free safety Rashad Johnson, right, cornerback Patrick Peterson (21), and tackle Josh Mauro, left, during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) runs for a touchdown after the catch against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) breaks free from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (24) for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals strong safety Deone Bucannon (20) forces Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) to fumble as free safety Rashad Johnson (26) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. Bucannon recovered the fumble for the Cardinals. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs after the hand off from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is hit by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals strong safety Deone Bucannon (20), rear, forces Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) to fumble as safety Rashad Johnson (26) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. Bucannon recovered the fumble for the Cardinals. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) is hit by Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) scrambles under pressure from Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Markus Golden (44) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) scores a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings with Larry Fitzgerald (11) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Minnesota Vikings Anthony Harris (41) breaks up a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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