Evan McPherson, the rookie kicker for the Cincinnati Bengals, learned a valuable lesson Sunday. Don’t celebrate until you see the ref’s arms go up.
McPherson thought his 49-yard kick was good and that his Bengals had knocked off Green Bay in overtime. McPherson even turned around to hug his holder. It was just like when he made the game-winner against Jacksonville last month. And for a few seconds, other players thought they’d won, too.
But tap the brakes. Wide left is a thing.
One of the Fox announcers even chastised McPherson for the premature field goal party. “That is no good my friend, no good.”
The kick did look good as it sailed through the air. But as it approached the goalposts, it started curling wide left. The ball plunked the left upright. No good. It was the second time in the game that one of McPherson’s kicks hit the left upright.
This is getting close to the uprights are cursed territory pic.twitter.com/snpJ50WIlr— SyedSchemes (@syedschemes) October 10, 2021
But missed field goals were a trend for both the Bengals and the Packers in the game’s crazy final moments of regulation and into overtime. There were five missed field goals, with the first coming right before the two-minute warning. That’s when savvy veteran Mason Crosby missed from 36 yards. The score remained tied at 22-22.
Then Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow drove his team to the Packers 39-yard line. McPherson missed that long-distance attempt with 26 seconds to go.
So, can we get another attempt before the clock runs out? Aaron Rodgers threw a 20-yard completion, then spiked the ball to stop the clock. Crosby trots out onto the field for another try to win the game. But he misses from 51 yards on the final play of regulation.
The Packers intercept Burrow on the opening series of overtime, giving Green Bay the ball at the Bengals 17. It all set up Crosby’s chip shot field goal. But Crosby, again, was wide left.
Burrow brings the Bengals to the Packers 32. Then McPherson tries for 49 and erroneously thinks it’s good.
But Crosby, finally, ends the kicking woes. His 49-yarder one play after the two-minute warning for overtime was good. Game over. Packers win 25-22. All told, Crosby, the Texan who played for the Colorado Buffaloes, missed three field goals and an extra point. But his woeful day ended on a positive note.
Here’s how odd of an outing it was for the 37-year-old Crosby. Before Sunday, he hadn’t missed a field goal since 2019. But on Sunday alone, he was four of seven. His team-record streak of 27-straight field goals ended earlier in the game.
Five of the game’s final seven drives ended with missed field goals.
But here’s what a game-winner looks like: