For the second time in his career, Lawrence Tynes got to play the role of playoff hero for the New York Giants. He first sent Big Blue to the Super Bowl in 2008 with a 47-yard kick against the Green Bay Packers and on Sunday he got another chance with a 31-yard field goal to push the Giants past the San Francisco 49ers.
Tynes first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001, though it wasn’t until 2004 — after trips to NFL Europe and the CFL — that he made his way into a regular season game with the Chiefs.
After the Chiefs backed into the playoffs in the 2006 season, Tynes was given his first chance to come through in the clutch. Against the Indianapolis Colts, the Chiefs were down 6-0 when the kicker lined up for a chip shot 27-yard field goal. Tynes’ kick banged off the left upright and the Colts were off and running on their way to a 23-8 victory.
Kansas City traded Tynes to the New York Giants that offseason for a seventh round pick in the 2008 draft. The Chiefs turned that pick into TE Michael Merritt. Merritt never played a down for the Chiefs and is best known for being arrested after trying to hide a joint in his mouth and saying to the arresting officer: “all this for a little bit of weed?“.
Tynes was quickly thrown into another playoff run and missed two potential game winning kicks in that NFC Championship game against the Packers before nailing the winner in overtime.
Despite Sunday’s kick being 16 yards shorter than the one in Green Bay, Tynes told reporters this one was just as difficult.
“Different conditions, but I was a little more full of anxiety today. The weather was terrible. The rain was blowing in four different directions.”
If he gets a chance to make a game winner at the Super Bowl, at least the weather won’t be a factor this time around.
“Super Bowl is in a dome,” Tynes said.
The only question for Chiefs fans at this point is simple: Do we cheer for Tynes and the Giants or Brian Waters and the New England Patriots?