Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant admits “privilege” of playing in London but loss against Lions is a “sad thing”  

by Andrew McSteen

The boot was on the foot of the other team for the Atlanta Falcons’ kicker Matt Bryant today as he saw his side lose 22-21 against the Detroit Lions thanks to a last-play 48-yard field goal from Matt Prater at Wembley Stadium, London, in Game 10 of the NFL International Series.

The three extra points sealed an unlikely win for the Lions who had trailed by 21 points at the half.

The result means that the Falcons claimed an unwelcome record as they tied the biggest throw-away loss in their franchise history which effectively ends their season at 2-6.

Matt Bryant, kicker for the Falcons knows all about the decisiveness of his position in the National Football League and after the game he spoke to A Head For The Game in the Falcons’ locker room about the disappointment of the result, a possible NFL franchise in London and his experience of playing at Wembley Stadium.

“Any time you lose it’s not what you set out to do obviously,” said the 39-year-old. “It seemed like it was going to be a good time to turn things around for us but it didn’t work out again so you’ve just got to get ready for the next one.

“It’s a sad thing,” he continued. “You see how good you are in the first half; that’s what we’re capable of, but in the second half, like the coach said to us just now, it’s a tale of two different teams.

“We know what we can do but for whatever reason we can’t do it for the whole 60 minutes.”

Bryant, who kicked three extra points after his sides’ three touchdowns, was still able to look at the home game in London for Atlanta with positive eyes and is in no doubt that a NFL franchise could work in the UK.

“Everybody got excited here today,” said the former New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers player, who also signed, but did not make an appearance for, the Berlin Thunder and Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe back in 2002. “It was a good crowd and a good game obviously for those who came out to see it.

“Off of the field for us it’s been good. London is full of a lot of history; there’s not many times you’re going to come over here; it’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime deal; to come over here and experience it; it was a good experience.

“People talk about [an NFL franchise] coming over here and with crowds like this you can see [the potential].

“I am sure that are some logistical problems you’d have to get through but if everything was to go like it did today you could see a team being successful over here.

“To come here and know that there are some big soccer games played here it’s a privilege, so it was fun from that aspect.”

Matt and his side now have a bye week to work on their weaknesses ahead of their Week 10 matchup against the Buccaneers and put an end to their run of five successive losses, which have taken them to 2-6 and all but out of play-off contention.

“You have to be positive,” said the former Baylor University player. “It’s your duty; it’s your job to go out there no matter what, every day, every play and to try to be the best out there.

“So whether we’re coming off a win or off a loss or whatever the scenario is – each guy owes it to himself, owes it to the team to our owner, our coaches and our fans to go out there and try and be the very best every single time.”

Photo courtesy of AtlantaFalcons.com

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