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.