After being drafted last season in the fifth round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, former Utah kicker Matt Gay was left without a team entering the 2020 NFL season after the Bucs waived him before the start of the season.
So when he found himself attempting a 40-yard field goal with 2:37 remaining in a tie game between his current team, the Los Angeles Rams, and his former team, the Bucs, his primary focus was just helping the Rams get the win.
In true Gay fashion, he split the uprights, giving the Rams a 27-24 lead that eventually turned into the final score.
"You can't write it," Gay said postgame. "It's one of those stories that you're sitting on the practice squad, and then the first game you're activated, you're going back to the place you were last year and the place you felt like you should have been and play on prime time on Monday Night Football. There was a lot of emotion for me coming back in."
As a rookie in Tampa Bay last season, Gay converted 77.1% (27-of-35) of his field goal attempts and 89.6% (43-of-48) of his extra points. Unfortunately, he lost the job in training camp to longtime veteran Ryan Succop. He was then signed to the Indianapolis practice before being picked up by the Rams last week. He officially joined the team on Saturday and the rest is history.
"Watching the way Matt handled himself throughout the game, you could feel there was a lot of confidence," Rams coach Sean McVay said postgame. "I know he had the one miss, but you can tell the difference between a 'miss' and then one of those where 'that looks a little shaky.' He was true all night. Great height, good timing, and he was very accurate. I loved what he did. It was a great snap, great hold, great operation. He made it, and it was as true as it gets."
Here's how the rest of the #ProUtes faired in Week 11...
Seattle 28 — Arizona 21 / Cody Barton, LB, Seattle; Marquise Blair, S, Seattle; Leki Fotu, DL, Arizona; Kylie Fitts, LB, Arizona
Barton finished with two tackles in helped lead Seattle to the big inner-division victory. Fotu has been placed on IR while dealing with a serious ankle injury.
Washington 20 — Cincinnatti 9 / Alex Smith, QB, Washington; Nate Orchard, DL, Washington; Jared Norris, LB, Washington
Smith picked up his first win in over two years to keep the Washington Football Team right in the thick of the NFC East division — setting up a huge showdown against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
New Orleans 24 — Atlanta 9 / Marcus Williams, S, New Orleans; Chase Hansen, LB, New Orleans
Williams only finished with three tackles, but he did add a pass defended and another interception.
Carolina 20 — Detroit 0 / John Penisini, DL, Detroit
Penisini finished with four tackles a sack, once proving well beyond his worth as a 5th round pick in the NFL draft.
Los Angeles Chargers 34 — New York Jets 28 / Sam Tevi, LT, Los Angeles Chargers
Tevi helped the Chargers break out of their losing streak and finally win a one-score game.
Denver 20 — Miami 13 / Garett Bolles, OT, Denver; Tim Patrick, WR, Denver; Eric Rowe, S, Miami
Patrick and Bolles were once again dominant for the Broncos — Patrick finished with five catches for 119 yards while Bolles was nearly perfect in protection. Rowe led the Dolphins with 10 tackles, 7 solo.
Dallas 31 — Minnesota 28 / Bradlee Anae, DE, Dallas; Francis Bernard, LB, Dallas
Neither Anae nor Bernard recorded a stat in the game.
Indianapolis 34 — Green Bay 31 / Julian Blackmon, S, Indianapolis
Blackmon continues to shine as one of the top defensive rookies in the NFL. He finished the game with five tackles and a tackle for loss, but his biggest contribution came when he forced a fumble in overtime that led the Colts game-winning field goal.
Kansas City 35 — Las Vegas 31 / Devontae Booker, RB, Las Vegas
Booker finished with just five carries for 16 yards in one of his worst showings over the past month.
Los Angeles Rams 27 — Tampa Bay 24 / Terrell Burgess, S, Los Angeles Rams; Matt Gay, K, Los Angeles Rams
Gay was sensational in his first game with the Rams, going 2-for-3 on field goal attempts (including the game-winner) and a perfect 3-for-3 on extra point attempts.
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