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Gano on missed kick: I thought I was going to drill it

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Carolina's best chance to exorcise their Super Bowl demons rested on the shoulders of kicker Graham Gano from 50 yards as time expired.

And to hear him tell it, the miss wide left had nothing to do with the timeout Broncos coach Gary Kubiak called right before he booted -- and made -- his first attempt. Like many good kickers, he simply blamed himself.

"I thought I was going to drill it," Gano told reporters after the 21-20 Broncos victory Thursday night. "There was no doubt in my mind. This happens. This won't define my season. I've got a lot of games left. I had a lot of teammates come up to me and say that I'm going to help us win a lot of games and I believe them. I wish I could have it back, but the reality is I can't. I've just got to move on and make the next kick."

He added: "There's nothing I can do about it. I feel bad I let my team down. We worked really hard tonight to get the win. I wish I could have it back, but I've got to move on."

Gano was previously 14 of 24 on kicks on 50 yards or more, so the distance was by no means a lock for the Panthers heading into the final seconds.

His postgame interview was handled with poise and didn't take away from the heart-pumping game that had just taken place. The Panthers, by now, know just how hard it is to beat this Denver team even with a green seventh-round pick installed at quarterback. If they ever get another crack, Gano sounds like he'll be ready.

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