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Nick Novak Finds Redemption with Game Winner
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After the Chargers’ loss against the Denver Broncos in Week 15, few players took the defeat harder than kicker Nick Novak. Number nine missed two of three field goals in the game and said he felt he directly contributed to the team’s loss.
What a difference a week makes.
“Obviously, we needed to win to stay alive,” Novak said. “That’s the most important thing. I said last week I was going to make the next kick. I’m really happy for our group. Those guys did the hard stuff. I’m really happy I could come through for the team. That’s what it’s all about.”
After losing the coin toss, the Chargers forced a fumble and marched down to the San Francisco 22. It was at that moment on second down that Head Coach Mike McCoy felt confident in Novak’s ability to kick the game-winner. McCoy said he expected Novak to make the field goal as he has full faith in his kicker.
“Give our offense all the credit in the world for moving the ball, keeping the ball where they
Novak echoed McCoy’s sentiments saying everything about the kick felt good, even with new holder Mat McBriar.
“Great snap, great hold. McBriar was in his second game and he’s holding for a game-winner. That’s pretty crazy how things work out sometimes.”
Redemption is sweet, but kicking a game-winning field goal is even sweeter. Novak said he never takes kicks for granted and despite his 40-yarder being a huge make-or-break play in the game, it’s a situation that he prepares for week-in and week-out.
“We’ve been in those situations before where we don’t get to attempt that kick so to kick the game-winner, a do-or-die kick, is dream come true,” he said. “It’s what you train for on a weekly basis. You love to be in that moment, any kicker would love that.”