To think — Jason Elam was “a little frustrated” on Sunday.
His miss from 45 yards out in the third quarter was the final bullet that killed a drive in which the Broncos got to the 20-yard-line but could not convert. It also was part of the moment that turned the game against the Broncos, as the Raiders capitalized and subsequently shrunk the Denver lead to one score on the ensuing possession.
But all was well that ended well. You can probably argue that it was his miss from 45 that allowed the Broncos to get a second consecutive dose of late-game comeback heroics from the offense, along with a second consecutive game-winning kick from the 15-year veteran who wears jersey No. 1. Elam hit the game-tying and game-winning field goals Sunday, and Wednesday will be named the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week.
Elam doesn’t know if he can take too many tense games, but is happy to provide the finishing kicks to them.
“I don’t want 16 of them,” he said, “but it’s been pretty fun so far.”
The Broncos’ elder statesman — who has been special teams captain for both games so far — has 20 points already this season and is on pace for his 15th consecutive 100-point season to start his career. That ongoing standard is a league record.
Elam becomes the Broncos’ first AFC Player of the Week since John Lynch carted home the defensive honors in Week 17 of the 2005 season for his two-sack, two-forced fumble, seven-tackle day in a win at San Diego.
Of course, Elam could have had a case for the award last week, when in spite of two misses, he drilled a hurried 42-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Bills. This week against the Raiders, his game-ending task was much easier and far more leisurely in nature.
“I like the 23-yard variety a lot better than the sprint-on-the-field for the 42-yard variety,” he said.