ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- If only Lance Ball could have found the umpire faster, Matt Prater might just have written his name in the record books.
The Denver Broncos had crossed midfield and Prater was all set to try a 67-yard field goal right before halftime in their 30-23 win over San Diego, but the clock ran out before the umpire could spot the ball for Peyton Manning to spike.
Oh well, maybe next time.
"We've got to do a better job as coaches practicing that under pressure," coach John Fox said.
After all, the men who share the NFL record for longest field goal at 63 yards -- David Akers, Jason Elam, Tom Dempsey and Sebastian Janikowski -- all say the strong-legged Prater has the best chance to break the mark, especially in Denver's thin air.
"He's a weapon," Fox said. "I mean, he's a weapon on kickoffs. He's a weapon as far as field goal range. Shoot, we were trying to set him up before half and we made a boo-boo not getting the ball spiked because we didn't get it to the officials fast enough. If we'd have gotten to the 50, we'd have tried it, especially at our place."
They reached the Chargers 49 when Ball caught an 11-yard pass from Manning. But the Broncos had no timeouts remaining and the first half ended, denying Prater a shot at history.
Earlier in the game, Prater had a rare long-range misfire, staring in disbelief along with his teammates when his attempt from 55 yards out clanked off the left upright near the yellow flag that flies atop the 30-foot-high goal posts.
It was just his fifth miss in 20 career attempts from 50 yards or more, and that dropped him behind Chicago's Robbie Gould (76.5 percent) as the most accurate long-range field goal kicker in NFL history.