Steven Hauschka makes 58-yard field goal to tie Seahawks record
Steven Hauschka nailed a 58-yarder that was not only a career best but also tied a Seattle franchise record set on Oct. 5, 2003 by Josh Brown at Green Bay.
Seattle Times staff reporter
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Part of the job of a kicker during pregame warm-ups is to assess the conditions and determine what distances might be realistic come game time.
As Steven Hauschka practiced his kicks Sunday before Seattle’s 13-9 victory over Carolina, he noticed a strong wind from the west and came to a conclusion: “There was definitely a chance for a really long one out there today.”
Hauschka got that chance in the second quarter when coach Pete Carroll sent him out to try a 58-yarder that would not only be a career best but also tie a Seattle franchise record set on Oct. 5, 2003, by Josh Brown at Green Bay.
Hauschka made the kick with plenty to spare, key points with Seattle down 6-0 at the time.
“Oh man, you dream about those all offseason,” said Hauschka, whose previous best was 54 yards when he was with Baltimore in 2008. His previous high as a Seahawk was 53 yards in a dome at Atlanta.
“The key is just to go out there and treat it like it’s a normal swing,” he said. “You’ve got the wind at your back and you are just trying to get the ball up in the air and get it on line and give the ball a chance. You don’t try to crush it because it’s a long kick. You know it’s in your range and you know you will have adrenaline when you kick it, too.’’
Some at the time thought the kick was into the wind because the flags on top of the stadium appeared to be blowing in the opposite direction. But Hauschka explained the scoreboard helped change the wind direction, something else he figured out beforehand,
“It hits that huge scoreboard and goes down the opposite way,” he said. “The wind was going that way pretty good.’’
Willson gets redemption
Luke Willson didn’t hang on to a potential catch in the third quarter when he was hit hard by Luke Kuechly, the ball and Willson each falling to the turf.
No matter. When his number was called in the final minute of the game, Willson hung on to a 23-yard pass from Russell Wilson, giving Seattle what proved to be the winning score with 47 seconds left.
“It’s one of those things where you just move on, next play,’’ Willson said of the Kuechly hit. “Even after that I felt like I would get another shot, and thankfully I did.’’
On Seattle’s final drive, when it trailed 9-6, Carroll said there was no thought of settling for a field goal and overtime.
“We were talking touchdown the whole time,’’ Carroll said. “We weren’t thinking about kicking the ball and waiting it out or anything like that.’’
Newton escapes, for a time
Seattle tied a season-high with three sacks, but the Seahawks could have had a few more had they been able to hang onto Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.
Maybe the most frustrating came with the game tied 6-6 early in the fourth quarter and Seattle’s Michael Bennett appearing to have a chance to tackle Newton in the end zone. Newton, though, escaped.
Bennett said later he thought he had Newton, then asked a reporter, “Have you ever tackled Cam Newton? Point exactly. I mean, it’s hard to get him down. He did a great job, ducked under me. A great play by him.’’
Benjamin’s big catch
When the Panthers took the lead in the fourth quarter, they did so in large part because of Kelvin Benjamin’s catch over Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.
Benjamin, Carolina’s 6-foot-5, 240-pound receiver, hauled in a 51-yard pass when it looked like both Sherman and Thomas had a chance to make the play. Thomas, for his part, thought he had an interception waiting.
“I stumbled coming out of it, but I still had a good bee-line on the ball,” Thomas said. “I didn’t even feel nobody coming. I thought I had an easy pick to tell you the truth. I tried to go, and I just felt these two big guys on me.”
While Thomas thought he had it, he also said he could do little but credit Benjamin for an excellent play.
“He doesn’t play like a rookie,’’ he said. “Me and Sherm, the two best defenders in the league, man; he made a great play.’’
Better against tight ends
The Seahawks have given up eight touchdowns to tight ends this season, but the Seahawks held tight end Greg Olsen, the Panthers’ leading receiver, to just one catch for 16 yards. Linebacker K.J. Wright said that was one of the defense’s major goals.
“We just stopped them and got the job done,” Wright said.
Schilling on bad snap: ‘My fault’
Center Stephen Schilling said he was to blame for the botched snap that led to a Seahawks’ fumble in the third quarter. The Seahawks had the ball deep in Carolina territory and faced a third-and-one, but Wilson never got the ball and Carolina recovered the fumble.
“That was my fault,” Schilling said. “It just slipped out of my hand.”
|Longest field goals in Seahawks history|
|Distance||Kicker||Date and opponent|
|58||Steven Hauschka||Sunday at Carolina|
|58||Josh Brown||Oct. 5, 2003 at Green Bay|
|55||John Kasay||Jan. 2, 1994 at Kansas City|
|55||Josh Brown||Oct. 23, 2005 vs. Dallas|