American Football: Bryant kicks 62 yards for Tampa on big day for the boot

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The Independent Online

The humble place kicker is rarely a man afforded much status in an American football locker-room, but on Sunday night, three teams were thankful for the accuracy of their kicker's boot.

Matt Bryant converted a 62-yard field goal to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an unexpected 23-21 triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles. There have only been two longer successful efforts in the sport's history. However, Tampa's real star was the cornerback Ronde Barber, who returned two Philadelphia interceptions for touchdowns.

In Kansas City, Lawrence Tynes, born and raised in Greenock, Scotland, helped the Chiefs overcome the San Diego Chargers 30-27, when he successfully converted in the dying seconds. He first made a 48-yard effort, but a penalty against the Chiefs moved the ball back five yards. Tynes held his nerve to convert the ensuing 53-yarder successfully.

There was similar drama in Pittsburgh, where the Atlanta Falcons prevailed over the Steelers 41-38 in overtime, thanks to the ageing leg of the 46-year-old Dane Morten Andersen, who missed a 51-yard potential game-winner in regulation, only to atone with a successful 32-yarder.