the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, October 12, 2012

NFL Week Six: Thursday Duel - Shaun Suisham vs. Rob Bironas

There were of course some offenses and defenses on the field for last night's Titans-Steelers clash, but special teams were the primary focus with the kickers in the spotlight. Tennessee kicker Rob Bironas opened the scoring with a first-quarter 22 yard field goal, that barely made it - hitting the upright on its way through.
"As long as it goes through, it’s worth three. It wasn’t supposed to do that… But it went through and we needed those."
Pittsburgh kicker Shaun Suisham answered with a 29 yarder. Bironas added a 38 yarder late in the first-quarter and then hit a 47 yarder on the final play of the second-quarter to give the Titans and 16-10 half-time lead.

In the second half, Suisham made a 28 yard field goal in the third and a 52 yarder midway through the fourth, plus the offense added a touchdown in between to give the Steelers the lead. After a Titans touchdown tied the game, Suisham got a shot at a game winner with 54 seconds remaining. His 54 yard attempt came up short. Head coach Mike Tomlin noted afterward:
"He banged the other one before that pretty clean. I decided to give him a shot at it, I take responsibility for the miss."
With the short field, Tennessee moved the ball to set up a 40 yard attempt by Bironas on the final play of the game.
"It’s a pressure situation. I wouldn’t be doing what I do if I didn’t like it. I like those situations. I like it when guys depend on me, just like when I depend on them to get me in range."
After the requisite icing timeout, Bironas made the kick, giving the Titans a 26-23 win.
"It's kind of like Kevin Costner in 'For The Love of the Game', where he clears the mechanism. You go out there, and you're in the zone."

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