Matt Prater is kicking himself off of the Cardinals roster

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Matt Prater
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Matt Prater /

The Arizona Cardinals are stuck in Groundhog Day following a demoralizing loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Christmas night.

Did anyone tell the Arizona Cardinals to leave the 2020 season behind them? Someone must have, as here the Cardinals are, one year later, with a kicker problem again. Last year it was Zane Gonzalez costing the team against New England and Miami. Then came Matt Prater against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.

Yes, punter Andy Lee being out was a shocker, and Arizona had to scramble to find someone else who would be a suitable holder. First, it was Colt McCoy, who did the “Ray Finkle” and didn’t put the laces out.

Then, a guy who was not on the official roster until who knows when, punter Ryan Winslow, took over holding duties for the rest of the night. Prater ended up missing an extra point and another field goal.

This is a cautionary tale to the world that your special teams can make the biggest impact on the outcome of games, despite the few snaps they see the field for each matchup.

I expected more of new Cardinals special teams coordinator Devin Fitzsimmons when he was hired earlier this year. Shame on me, I guess.

Struggles of Matt Prater are repeats of the Arizona Cardinals kickers that went before him

Prater has been struggling this year, but Arizona was winning early on in the season, so that covered that up. However, these warning signs shouldn’t have been ignored.

Remember when former Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro made a 60-yard field goal on the road in 2016 against the Buffalo Bills, but then he basically wilted in the games that followed?

This is where Prater currently stands. He missed two field goals and an extra point earlier this season against the Seattle Seahawks, and he is also only 50 percent from the 40 to 49 range this year, something Zane Gonzalez struggled with during his time in Arizona last season.

Yes, the holding situation was bad. That’s half the battle. But the signs of danger have come in the past, and now they’re back again.

The Cardinals must find a new kicker fast, and if they don’t before the start of the playoffs, they won’t make it very far.

Trending. 5 Cardinals players that will not be back in 2022. light