Special teams player Matthew Slater of the New England Patriots scored the first touchdown of his 12-year career with the NFL on Sunday.
Slater, who also is a wide receiver, made the touchdown during the Patriots’ game against the Buffalo Bills.
He recovered a punt blocked by J.C. Jackson. He scooped the ball and ran 11 yards untouched into the end zone. Once he crossed the goal line, Slater slid on the turf, leaned backward, and raised his arms in celebration.
Slater said the first thing that went through his mind was “thank you, Jesus.”
“I think everyone dreams of scoring a touchdown at some point,” Slater told reporters after the game. “And 12 years, I was dreaming about touchdowns less and less than I was early on.”
The 34-year-old said he was thankful to be in the right place at the right time.
Slater has been elected a Patriots team captain for the last nine seasons in a row, starting in 2011.
The son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Jackie Slater, the Patriot has three Super Bowl rings. He has also been named to seven straight Pro Bowls.
Slater has been targeted by fellow teammate Tom Brady multiple times during the regular season, but the two only connected in a 46-yard gain once in 2011.
“It was great. I was hoping to get to throw him one at some point,” quarterback Brady said about Slater’s touchdown after the game. “He might’ve had a shot in ’11 on a post that he kind of fell down as he caught it. But it was great to see him in the end zone. He’ll get to keep that ball.”
The Patriots went on to beat the Bills 16-10 during the game Sunday at New Era Stadium in New York.