INDIANAPOLIS --- The Indianapolis Colts brought in the "Boomstick" Saturday night to attempt a potential game-winning 64-yard field goal with 10 seconds left, trailing 27-26 to the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. The roof was closed for punter Pat McAfee's dream kick. It had the distance, but it fell just wide left.
It's a chance McAfee had been hoping for, even if it was only a preseason game, after he re-signed with the Colts this past offseason...a chance not only to punt but maybe some day also kick field goals.
It's not the regular season, but it would have tied Broncos kicker Matt Prater's NFL record 64-yard field goal from a year ago. It was a very hard kick, but McAfee wanted it. He wanted it badly. You have to respect that. The game does not count towards his team's record, but McAfee's a competitor.
"They said to me, 'If we get a long one, you're going to swing at it.' So, I was loose. 64 yards is very, very, very easily attainable for me. I should have hit it," McAfee told Colts.com by his locker after the game. "It would be a whole different locker room in here right now if I hit it, but it's a good thing it's preseason. We get to work a little bit. (Wide Receiver) Griff Whalen did a fantastic job holding. I just wish I would have hit it."
Asked if he could tell that he had the distance from where he kicked it on the Colts' own 46-yard-liine, McAfee said yes.
"Yeah, I hit it solid, nice smooth swing. I just tried to get it up. I didn't aim right enough," McAfee recalled. "I should have done that. I wish I would have made it mostly for my teammates, for our fans that stuck around all four quarters. We hate losing at home, and that would have been a chance to change things."
As you can already tell, McAfee did not sugar coat his feelings about missing that kick. For him, it was more than just a monstrously long, typically low percentage preseason field goal attempt.
"It's going to be a miserable evening for me, because I really should have made that. It's not even a question," said McAfee. "You live to fight another day I guess."
The ironic part is McAfee did a fantastic job with his usual gig. He had 6 punts for an average of 48.2 yards, with 3 inside the 20 and a long of 59. That makes seven total punts now this preseason in two games inside the 20 for the Colts' punter. No matter to him though. It was a game that most people may never remember, but it was a kick that will be hard for McAfee to forget.
"I should have made that. That's very unacceptable."
Despite that though, the fun personality so many Colts and NFL fans alike enjoy still found a way to shine through the disappointment.
My last question: "What is your field goal range?"
McAfee's answer: "Forever."