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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Tue., Nov. 24, 2015 10:00 AM PST
Nick Novak Clutch Once Again for Chargers
Nick Novak looked to the other sideline for motivation on Monday Night and found it in the form of a Super Bowl hero.
"I tried to lift my game up and match Adam (Vinatieri) kick-for-kick," Novak said. "He's a competitor out there and I love that. I think every kicker wants to be known as clutch -- and he exemplifies it."
Novak continued to be clutch like he has all season. He was true on all four field goal attempts -- including the game-sealing 50-yarder that send Qualcomm Stadium into a frenzy.
As the ball that would put the Colts out of comeback range sailed through the uprights, Novak screamed and jumped. But there was no hope -- not even a glimmer -- of hearing the veteran kicker above the loud Qualcomm fans.
"That's what it's all about," Novak said. "Coming through when the team needs you most and hearing the crowd cheer."
It's difficult to imagine a silent crowd after one of Novak's kicks these days. He's 13-for-15 on the season, and more impressively, he's a perfect six-for-six on kicks 40 yards or longer. His only misses were blocked field goals.
Those stats made it easy on Head Coach Mike McCoy when the Chargers offense stalled on their last possession of the game. He could punt and try to pin the Colts back, go for it and risk a turnover on downs or trot out his nearly perfect kicker.
"It was an opportunity to go up ten -- what are you going to do?" said McCoy about his thought process. "If you don't go for it you give them a situation to tie the game."
McCoy went, as he usually has this season, with Novak, saying he had "all the confidence in the world" in his kicker. And Novak rewarded that trust by kicking the field goal that ultimately gave his team its third win this season.
"To me, it meant a whole lot that they had the confidence in me to put it through," Novak said. "I'm a big 'Rocky’ Fan, so I just try to keep that eye of the tiger focus. I try to come through for the team and do my job. I love these guys."