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NFL: Bengals kicker sets his sights on NFL Championship stage

Cincinnati Bengals placekicker Evan McPherson, who has proven to be unshakeable in the playoffs, has compared his mindset to that of a sniper.

Article originally published on 11/02/2022

The Bengals were panned by critics when they drafted McPherson in the fifth round, but the rookie has made all 12 of his postseason field goal attempts and could decide Sunday's final, for which he is 50/1 to be named MVP.

McPherson a popular figure

No kicker has ever been named MVP of the the NFL showpiece, but McPherson's popularity and profile have grown following the nerveless 31-yard overtime winner he struck amid the howls and cat-calls of Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Championship game.

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The kick that sent the Bengals through and put Kansas City out was his fourth of four attempts made that day as he contributed 13 points in a 27-24 win over the Chiefs.

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McPherson explains kicking mindset

McPherson also went four-for-four on field goals, contributing 14 points in a 26-19 Wild Card win over the Las Vegas Raiders and duly added 13 more points on another perfect day in Cincinnati's 19-16 Divisional Round win over the Tennessee Titans

"You get one shot and one kill," the 22-year-old Alabama native told reporters this week. "It's really cut and dry. You either make the kick or miss it.

"It doesn't matter if the crowd noise is at record decibels, you have this one shot, that's it, all eyes are on you, and you have to make it."

And McPherson says pressure will not be a problem if Sunday's clash with the Los Angeles Rams becomes the fourth NFL Championship to be decided by a game-winning kick.

"The way these last couple of games have turned out, I think it definitely could come down to a field goal," the Bengals kicker said.

"The stage might be bigger, the lights might be brighter, but when you're on the field, it's exactly the same."

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