Fall 2022

Bengals kicker Evan McPherson sports 'God is good' shirt after game-winning kick over Titans

Evan McPherson has proven that pressure doesn’t really get to him.

Entering Saturday’s divisional round playoff game against the Tennessee Titans, the Cincinnati Bengals rookie kicker already had three game-winning kicks to his name.

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One of those came in overtime in a season-opening win over the Minnesota Vikings. Another clinched a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in a Thursday night game. Then he hit one to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17 and clinch the AFC North division title for the Bengals — arguably the biggest kick of his career.

Until Saturday, that is. McPherson drilled a 52-yard field goal as time expired to give the Bengals a 19-16 win over the top-seeded Titans. It is the first road playoff win in franchise history, and sends the Bengals to their first AFC championship game since 1988.

For his postgame press conference, McPherson put on a black shirt with “God is good” printed across the chest. He told reporters it’s “a kicker’s dream” to have a chance at a game-winning field goal.

“This is my job,” McPherson said. “This is what I do for a living, so it’s my job to stay cool, calm and collected in moments like those. I’m just so happy that my team put me in position to succeed and give me the opportunity to win the game.”

With stellar play from their defense, the Bengals offense relied heavily on McPherson’s leg, as he accounted for 13 of the team’s 19 points. He also hit field goals from 38, 45 and 54 yards out in addition to the game-winner.

As the Titans were driving toward the end of the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead, Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson intercepted a pass from Titans QB Ryan Tannehill. The Bengals were able to get into field goal range with a long pass play from Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase, then set up McPherson for the field goal.

McPherson was awarded the game ball for his performance.

“Pretty much all that was going through my mind is that we get one more game,” McPherson said. “We’re guaranteed one more game. We get another chance to go out and win another game. We’re one step closer to our goal.”

Whether it’s with his postgame attire or sharing Scripture on social media, McPherson is vocal about sharing his faith publicly. He frequently posts pictures on Instagram following games or other events and adds a Bible verse in the caption, like he did Saturday. After the win he wrote, “God is good,” and followed it with Psalm 34:8, which reads, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

 

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A post shared by Evan Mcpherson (@evan_mcpherson04)


After he won AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for December, he wrote, “Glory to God,” followed by 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” He also won AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice this year, in Week 1 and Week 11.

 

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A post shared by Evan Mcpherson (@evan_mcpherson04)

McPherson grew up in a Christian home in Fort Payne, Alabama, where we was a soccer and football star. He committed to play college football at the University of Florida, where he went 51-for-60 on field goal attempts and set a Southeastern Conference record for field goal percentage.

He decided to forgo his senior season and was drafted by the Bengals in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He thanked God when he announced his decision to go pro on social media.

“For Him, Through Him, Because of Him!” he tweeted. “‘Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.’ Proverbs 16:3 || I’m excited for the next chapter of my life! Go Gators!!”

Those parents who raised him and took him to countless kicking camps as a kid got to be in the stands to see his game-winning kick in Week 1. Evan might very well have been calm despite being thrust into such a big moment, but that didn’t stop his parents from being nervous for him.

“As parents, we want to take the pressure off him,” his father, LaDon McPherson, told Bengals.com. “We ask God to give us the pressure. Give us the tension and let him just do what he does. Give us all the anxiety.”

Now, the Bengals are one win away from a Super Bowl. Who knows — maybe that, too, will come down to McPherson’s leg. The fourth-seeded Bengals will travel to face either Kansas City or Buffalo next week.

“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” he said following Saturday’s win. “We’re going to go into this next game with a great game plan. I’m going to go through this week of practice and have my best week of practice and get ready to go into the next game with the best of my ability to help this team win.”

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