The highs and lows of a professional football career can be immeasurably far apart, and that was on display over the weekend during the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs. No spot on the field has a more clearly defined good and bad result than the kicker position, which saw one kicker feel the highest of highs and another experience one of the worst days in the history of the sport.
The Dallas Cowboys squared up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night, a game being covered by the Manning brothers. All seemed to be going well for the Cowboys when they scored the first touchdown of the game, giving them a six-point lead. This, however, was the beginning of a terrible day for kicker Brett Maher, who missed the ensuing extra-point attempt. He would go on to miss his next two extra points, making it three in a row, a feat that put Peyton Manning in a mental blender.
Peyton Manning is all of us reacting to the Cowboys’ third missed extra point pic.twitter.com/y1VzcE5ZZ9
— Omaha Productions (@OmahaProd) January 17, 2023
“You have got to be kidding me! Why are we kicking it?! Why are we kicking it?!”
Peyton’s younger brother Eli seemed to find a bit more humor in the situation when the camera switched to Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones, who was dismayed at the brutal display of kicking, with Eli saying:
“He can’t believe it. Talk about a buzz-kill. No one’s ever missed three extra points in a row. Gotta be a record.”
Peyton wasn’t done being flabbergasted at the historically bad kicking performance that was unraveling on live television and even had an interesting rules question regarding the Cowboy’s next move as halftime approached:
“Can you cut a guy at halftime of a playoff game?”
After the game, Cowboy’s players and coaching were quick to jump to Maher’s defense. Coach Mike McCarthy hurried to back the kicker, saying that “We’re going to forge ahead.”
He continued, saying the following about the plan going forward, according to Yahoo Sports:
“I think the biggest thing is just to make sure you got a good plan with Brett moving forward. We’re going to forge ahead. So that’s, as of right now, that’s the plan.”
Star quarterback Dak Prescott also spoke about his support for Maher as the team readies for its next game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, in a press conference clip shared by CBS Sports:
“Yeah, I mean, I’m Money Maher’s biggest fan. I talked to him individually, just told him after the game, ‘He let that go, we’re going to need it.’ I just played like s*** a week ago, so I mean, that happens.”
“Knowing what that guy’s done, with the resiliency he’s shown throughout his career, personally, no doubt that he’ll come back next week and be perfect and help us win.”
Now, all Cowboys fans can do is wait for Sunday. Apart from special teams, the Cowboys look capable of making a run in this playoffs, especially if they can get past the 49ers this weekend. If Maher and get his form back, this team is the best that Dallas fans have seen in a very long time.
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