Counting field goal, extra-point and kickoff attempts, the average NFL team in 2013 trotted out a kicker about 155 times.
Broncos kicker Matt Prater, who handles all three duties, was involved in 215 such plays — by far the most in the league.
The fact that Prater, who has battled illness during the past week, led the NFL in field goal percentage (96.2%) and touchbacks (81) and was second in touchback percentage (71.1%), all while setting league records for most extra-points made (75) and longest field goal made (64 yards), adds up to one fantastic kicker.
Seattle’s kicker, Steven Hauschka, isn’t too shabby either. Though not as renowned for power as Prater, Hauschka was nearly as accurate. He made 33 of 35 attempts in the regular season, including 22 of 23 outdoors. That bodes well ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, a venue known for swirling winds.
And that’s what matters most as the NFL makes its first go of a cold weather Super Bowl. If either man hopes to avoid going down in kicking infamy with the likes of former Bills kicker Scott Norwood, he better be ready for a cold day.
Expect them to be up to the task, considering the two combined to go 10-for-10 on field goals in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.