Two days later, Pat McAfee still was kicking himself for missing a 64-yard field goal that would have provided an even more improbable finish to Saturday's 27-26 preseason loss against the New York Giants.

If the contest is remembered at all, it will be for the two long touchdown drives New York quarterback Ryan Nassib directed in the final four minutes to help erase a 26-0 fourth-quarter deficit. And perhaps even moreso for the 26 penalties and 209 combined penalty yards that resulted from the NFL's "point of emphasis" on illegal contact, defensive holding and defensive pass interference this summer.

But if the Indianapolis punter's field goal try had been a few more inches to the right, he would have been the talk of the league this weekend.

McAfee called the field goal — which would have tied the NFL record set last season by Denver's Matt Prater — "easily attainable" in the postgame locker room. And he said he would have trouble sleeping after squandering the opportunity.

On Monday, in a session with reporters at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, his stance had not softened.

He was hoping to get a shot a 69-yard field goal before the end of the first half last year at Jacksonville, but head coach Chuck Pagano decided not to roll the dice that day. That fact only added to McAfee's disappointment this weekend.

"That's why, whenever they come up, you've got to take advantage of those opportunities," he said. "I missed the opportunity on that one. Very upset about it still to this day. We'll just keep working, get better. Hopefully, I'll get another shot, and I'll drain that thing the next time we get a chance to swing at it."

He's well aware that could be a very long time.

Circumstances have to fall precisely in place to make such a long field goal try plausible. It almost certainly has to come at the end of a half or a game. And all other options must be exhausted.

But McAfee has earned the confidence of his head coach and his quarterback. Both Pagano and Andrew Luck said following Saturday's game they've seen the punter hit from a similar distance often enough in practice to believe it would be possible in a game.

Not that Luck is relying on such a unique fallback plan.

"I know when we're doing two-minute drives in practice and practicing and preparing for them in games, I don't think that thought really crosses our mind," he said. "We still have a hard line we want to get to to have a realistic chance at a field goal. But I guess as a super backup option, yeah. When you've got a guy with a leg like that and the confidence to make it, it's pretty sweet."

Contact sports writer George Bremer at george.bremer@heraldbulletin.com or on Twitter (@gmbremer).

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