Monday, November 14, 2011

Seahawks settle for Hauschka’s record-tying five FGs

Steven Hauschka made five field goals for the Seahawks on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ted Warren)

By Christian Caple

November 14, 2011

Steven Hauschka would prefer they’d been extra points instead of field goals.

But the fact remains that the Seahawks kicker was essential to their 22-17 win over Baltimore on Sunday, tying a single-game franchise record with five made field goals.

Hauschka now shares the record with Norm Johnson, who did it twice, once in 1987 and again in 1988; Olindo Mare, who also did it twice, both against Arizona last season; and Todd Peterson, who did it in 1999.

“I guess it’s a fun day for a kicker to be part of the game like that,” Hauschka said. “It would have been nice to get a couple scores on offense … we did a great job today as a team.”

Indeed, Hauschka’s appearances on Sunday were more disappointing than they were exciting. That’s usually how it goes with kickers. But the Seahawks’ failure to score touchdowns was especially frustrating in this game because of the chances they were presented following Baltimore turnovers.

Hauschka’s first make, a 22-yarder, came after the Ravens David Reed fumbled a kickoff return following the Seahawks lone touchdown in the first quarter. That set Seattle up with the ball at Baltimore’s 19-yard line.

The Seahawks moved to the Ravens’ 4-yard line before settling for three points.

Reed fumbled again on a kickoff late in the first half, after Hauschka had made his third field goal to put Seattle ahead 16-7. The Seahawks took over at Baltimore’s 18-yard line, but gained only one yard in three plays and again had to settle for a Hauschka kick, this time from 35 yards to go ahead 19-7 heading into halftime.

And when David Hawthorne intercepted Joe Flacco and returned the ball to the Ravens’ 4-yard line in the third quarter? Three plays saw the Seahawks head backward eight yards, and Hauschka again trotted out to boot a 30-yarder for the Seahawks’ final points of the game.

Hey, at least he made all of them. The same couldn’t be said for Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff, who missed tries from 50 (short) and 52 (wide right) yards. He also made a 35-yarder in the third quarter.

Cundiff isn’t the first kicker to struggle in the Qwest/CenturyLink era. Arizona’s Jay Feely missed two field goals in a loss at CenturyLink earlier this season.

“I think I’ve done a good job,” Hauschka said. “You notice a lot of kickers come in here, there’s been missed kicks. There also haven’t been many touchbacks. It’s a tough place to kick I think. It’s a lot easier to kick inside or in warm weather. We don’t really get above 60 degrees here much for home games, so those touchbacks are hard to get.”

Maybe not quite as hard as touchdowns were for the Seahawks, though.

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