Monday, October 01, 2012

Henery makes four FGs, plays unlikely hero

Four field goals on Sunday night in the Eagles' win over the Giants made Alex Henery 8-for-9 on the season.

By Geoff Mosher

October 1, 2012

Alex Henery makes clutch fourth-quarter kicks all the time. They just happen at practice and in his mind more than they actually take place in real games.

“You prepare yourself every game that it’s going to come down to you,” the Eagles’ second year kicker said. “So when it comes, you’re ready for it and you’re not really shocked.”

Henery was the rare offensive hero for the Eagles on Sunday night against the Giants, as he made all four of his field goal attempts to account for 12 of the team’s 19 points. His 26-yarder with less than two minutes left in the fourth served as the game-winner in the Eagles’ 19-17 win.

Henery also made kicks of 25, 48 and 35 yards. The 48-yarder, his longest this season and second-longest of his career, put the Eagles up 13-10.

Considering that he spent the week practicing with a new holder (punter Mat McBriar) and long snapper (Kyle Nelson), those are some impressive numbers.

“I knew it was gonna be big,” Henery said of the 48-yarder. “Especially the way the game was going. After this week, working with a different snapper and holder, I was real happy with how it went [Sunday] and I hit the ball real well.”

Making his game even sweeter were two misses from his counterpart, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes, from 54 yards out in the final 15 seconds. Tynes missed wide left on the first attempt, which came off his foot mere seconds after Eagles coach Andy Reid called timeout to ice the veteran. Tynes then came up short on his second attempt.

“He’s a good kicker,” Henery said. “He’s made a lot of big kicks over the years. That was the tougher way to kick tonight, I think, into the wind. It was just something that it didn’t go and we got the win.”

Tynes is one of the NFL’s most clutch kickers. He kicked the overtime 31-yarder in the Giants’ 20-17 win over San Francisco in the NFC Championship earlier this year to become the first player in league history with two postseason overtime makes. His other, a 47-yarder, came in the Giants’ upset of the Packers in the 2008 NFC title game.

Henery, a fourth-round pick last year, is still carving his reputation after being drafted to replace David Akers, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer who signed with San Francisco last season after the Eagles let him walk.

Henery made 24 of 27 kicks as a rookie, setting a franchise accuracy record (88.9), and was the most accurate rookie kicker in NFL history.

Not many Eagles games have come down to Henery in the final minutes, but he prepares each week like it's inevitable.

“Every game you tell yourself you need to make all of them,” he said, “and it’s going to come down to you eventually.”

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