The life of an NFL kicker can be daunting. One moment, you’re the scapegoat that everyone looks to blame for your team losing. The next, you’re a hero for winning your team the game by kicking the football through the uprights. That is what happened to Cleveland Browns kicker Dustin Hopkins in their Week 10 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Hopkins missed what would’ve been the game-tying extra point attempt in the latter stages of the fourth quarter after the Browns scored a touchdown to overcome a 15-point second-half deficit, or so they thought. The missed extra point allowed the Ravens to maintain a one-point advantage before getting the ball back with roughly eight minutes in the fourth quarter.
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Luckily, for Hopkins and the Browns, he had a chance at redemption after the Browns defense came up with a huge defensive sequence that forced the Ravens to punt the ball, Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson had five minutes to lead the offense down the field and set his team up for Hopkins to trot out and attempt the game-winning field goal, which he did.
A 12-play, 58-yard drive was capped off with Hopkins kicking a game-winning 40-yard field goal as time expired to propel the Browns to victory. After the game, Hopkins was hard on himself for putting his team in a position where they needed to drive down the field in the final minutes to win, but noted that “everybody had my [his] back.”
“I feel a bit like an arsonist that put out his own fire and then gets a pat on the back,” Hopkins told Cleveland.com’s Mark Kay Cabot.
Hopkins and the Browns left M&T Bank Stadium with a win, which is all that matters.