On November 10, kicker Alex Henery missed his first field goal attempt against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. It was his fifth miss on the season in 19 attempts. Henery could have hung his head and got down on himself, but instead he focused on trusting his mechanics. He hit his next two field goals that afternoon, and that streak has now been extended to nine straight successful attempts to end the season.
According to the third-year kicker, the key was to keep the same approach.
"I've been doing the same thing I've done all year, it's just that I feel like I have a good rhythm going and I'm hitting good balls," said Henery, who hit a 47-yard field goal in the win over Dallas. "Other than that, I've really just been doing what I've been doing since the beginning of the year, and I'm hitting the ball well."
In a game that is as physically demanding as football, Henery explained that the mental aspect is just as crucial, especially for kickers.
"It's more about how you handle it mentally," Henery said. "Say I miss a few early on, if you let that impact you later on in the year, then it can get you. It's one of those things where I take every game as a new one and it's 0-0 to start the game."
Henery will face a new challenge this weekend, as Saturday brings his first career playoff game. Though he doesn't worry about having to deal with any extra playoff pressure, he did explain that kicking off in the cold presents a bit of a challenge.
"With the ball, it gets colder so the leather's harder, so it doesn't travel as far," said Henery, who had three touchbacks against Dallas and a career-high 37 for the season. "That's the main thing, that you don't get the same distance out of the ball as you would on a warm day.
"It kind of brings everything in hand with whatever scheme you have going in, just because you know that the ball isn't going to travel as far as it did in Dallas. It's one of those things that you work around and you have to make sure that you're not just feeding it to them right down the middle."