INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano was making his way through the locker room after their 27-26 loss to the New York Giants when punter Pat McAfee stopped him and goes, “I’m sorry, coach.”
Pagano didn’t hesitate to respond.
“Don’t worry about it, you’re going to make one to win a game for us this season,” the coach said.
But McAfee wanted to make the field goal – a 64 yarder to be exact – on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
He wanted to do it for his teammates. He wanted to please the coaching staff. The same goes for the remaining fans in the stadium. And he wanted to do it for himself, as he has said he would like the opportunity to punt and handle kicking duties once the ageless-Adam Vinatieri retires.
McAfee’s 64-yard field goal attempt, which missed wide left, would have won the game for the Colts.
The frustration was in McAfee’s voice.
“I had 100 percent confidence,” he said. “I am extremely furious it didn’t go in. I thought it was extremely attainable. Hopefully I’ll get another shot and it’s got to go in.”
Making a field goal from that distance wouldn’t have been a first for McAfee. He made a 65-yard field goal on the first day of training camp on July 24.
That’s why the coaching staff didn’t hesitate to tell McAfee to get ready when the Colts started the drive at their own 20-yard line with 55 seconds left in the game.
With receiver Griff Whalen holding, McAfee kicked several balls into the net on the sideline to warm up.
“We’ve always had it in the back of our minds hoping that the scenario would come up and present itself regardless,” Pagano said. “So rather than drop back, we were struggling obviously offensively, so I was completely confident and the kid was confident. Obviously he had the distance, just a little bit wide left is what I saw. Before this season’s over, he’s going to hit a game-winner from 60-plus yards, I guarantee it.”