Lions' Patricia doesn't want to jinx opposing kickers' struggles
Allen Park -- Field-goal kicking in the NFL has become so reliable three teams haven't seen an opponent miss this season, while opponents for 25 of the league's 32 teams have made 80 percent of their attempts of better.
Then, there's the Detroit Lions, who appear to have goalposts that draw footballs like magnets. Opponents have missed a league-high eight field goals and four extra points this season against the Lions, with a significant chunk of them getting rejected by an upright.
Forgive Lions coach Matt Patricia for not wanting to talk about it.
“I don’t want to jinx it, so hopefully, like I said, it just keeps happening," he said.
The missed kicks have played a critical role in three of Detroit's four wins.
Against Green Bay, Mason Crosby missed four field goals in Detroit's eight-point win. Miami's Jason Sanders sent a 46-yarder wide left in the closing minutes, preventing the Dolphins from to get within one score with an opportunity to recover an onside kick. And this past weekend, Graham Gano clanged a 36-yard effort off the upright, his only miss of the season, while also sending an extra point wide, as Detroit narrowly escaped with a one-point victory.
Lions kicker Matt Prater hasn't experienced the same struggles. After missing two of his three kicks in the season-opener, he's made 18 of his past 19.
"I think with Prater, just in general, he’s great," Patricia said. "He’s real competitive, he’s very thorough, he’s a great professional. ... He just wants to be perfect. He just wants to be right all the time.
"Quite frankly, hopefully they keep missing theirs," Patricia said. "I’ll take it. We just have to make sure we’re doing a good job with ours."