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Cardinals Leave Seven Points on Board with Missed Kicks

The Arizona Cardinals struggled to capitalize on field goals in Saturday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
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The Arizona Cardinals have one of the most consistent groups of specialists in the NFL. 

Kicker Matt Prater is a longtime respected leg, long snapper Aaron Brewer seems to hit the holder in the right spot each time and punter Andy Lee has mastered his receiving.

That trio was broken up on Saturday as Lee is on the COVID-19 list. It came a few weeks after Brewer missed time because of a broken forearm, and replacement Beau Brinkley struggled with snaps.

Saturday night, the kicking unit had issues without Lee, as Prater missed three kicks amounting to seven points in a 22-16 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. 

Backup quarterback Colt McCoy started as the placekick holder, which went downhill quickly. 

Prater's first kick was a 51-yard try that he missed wide left. McCoy did not get the laces turned around on the hold, and Prater connected straight with them. 

The second miss was an extra point that would have tied the game at seven. McCoy's hold was leaning and the laces were faced to the side at a 3 o'clock angle. 

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Former Cardinals kicker Jay Feely did not hold back on how that affects a kicker:

After that, McCoy was replaced by punter Ryan Winslow, whom the Cardinals signed on Thursday to the practice squad after Lee went on reserve. 

Winslow has experience holding for kicks, but the Cardinals felt that he did not get the proper time to prepare having arrived so soon to the game.

"We brought in our punter later on in the week, so Colt got some work in," head coach Kliff Kingsbury said postgame. "Everybody felt comfortable with how we kicked during the week."

Winslow's holds were much smoother, but Prater still missed a 41-yard field goal that he usually knocks down.

The Cardinals lost on Saturday for dozens of reasons. 

They committed 11 penalties. They had errants snaps and missed throws. 

The kicking woes are on that list, and something the Cardinals will need to buffer if Lee were to miss more time.