Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano shanked a potential game-winning, 50-yard field goal with just five seconds left in the 4th quarter against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, giving the Broncos a 21-20 victory in the NFL season opener.
Worst of all, just moments before Gano missed the field goal, he had successfully made an attempt from the same length, only to have it called off because the Broncos had called timeout just before the snap.
That’s right: the Broncos iced the kicker – and for once it actually worked.
Here’s the shank:
And here’s the Carolina reaction:
Although the data has proved definitively that icing the kicker does not have any actual bearing on the ensuing field goal, on Thursday night Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak made the decision to call timeout just before Gano’s first attempt, and ultimately the Broncos won the game.
At first glance, it appeared as though the timing of the snap and hold was a bit off, which is why Gano might have hooked his kick. But upon further review, Gano seems to have just shanked it.
The Broncos, who trailed 17-7 at halftime, now open the season 1-0. Trevor Seimian, their untested quarterback, threw one touchdown and two interceptions, but led what resulted in a game-winning drive earlier in the 4th quarter.
And with that late-game madness, the NFL is officially back!