Canadian Kicker Clutch Again
For the second time in eight games, Shaun Suisham kicked a walk-off, game-winning field goal for the Washington Redskins. On Sunday the Canadian kicked his fifth and final field goal of the game, in overtime, to give the Redskins a dramatic 23-20 win over the New York Jets.
Not only was the third year kicker responsible for fifteen of the Redskins twenty-three points, he also kicked an on-side kick in the third quarter that was successfully recovered, and helped turn the game around for Washington. The Redskins only added a field goal on the ensuing drive, but the score put Washington within one possession of equalizing at 17-9, and was a definite turning point.
You'd never know it to talk to Shaun though, the same stoicism and demeanor that allow him to make these pressure kicks, also seems to keep him grounded and humble. Don't expect him to get too excited about this past weekend's events, for him it's just another day at the office.
"A win is a win," Suisham told THN; but he did at least allow himself a small mention, "It's nice when you can contribute to a victory."
'It's nice?' Come on Shaun, how about reveling in a career-best performance a little bit?
Not a chance, not this young man. After making the kick, as his team exploded with both jubilation and relief, Suisham just embraced punter and holder Derrick Frost and walked off the field.
He did manage to pick one special person out of the crowd to share the moment with, "As I ran off the field, I waved up to my wife in the upper deck as she was jumping up and down. A very special moment that sticks out in my mind."
Suisham's five field goals ties the Redskin record for Field Goals in a Game, a feat accomplished seven times before Sunday. Curt Knight did it three times in the early seventies; Mark Moseley did it once in 1980; and Chip Lohmiller did it three times in the early nineties. Lohmiller was the last Redskin kicker to accomplish the feat fifteen seasons ago, in October of 1992.
Truthfully, the Wallaceburg, Ontario native always seems a little put off when any credit is directed his way, and according to him, "The approach to every kick is the exact same."
No matter how much he downplays his contributions, or his ability to perform in tough football situations, the young man possesses something that many athletes can never find - a rock-steady focus. Does that focus come from mental exercise, physical repetition, a combination of the two?
Shaun attributes it directly to an adage he picked up in his college locker room, "Attitude - a little thing that makes a big difference."
Well that 'little thing' definitely made a 'big difference' to the Redskins this past weekend. A loss to the 1-7 Jets would have been devastating and dropped Washington to 4-4 and a seemingly almost insurmountable three games back of the division-leading Dallas Cowboys (7-1). Instead, they return home to face a struggling Philadelphia Eagles team and at 5-3, they are still very much in the NFC East hunt.
So how did Suisham celebrate the big win, and the big performance?
He didn't really. He had some pizza and a couple of drinks and went to bed. He told THN, "I could have given a little more effort to celebrating, but I was worn out."
What's to celebrate anyway? Although it was a tough day at the office, Shaun's just doing his job.
Luckily for Redskin fans, he's doing it well.
Suisham should actually get two entries in the Redskin record books. Not only did the five field goals tie for the most ever in a game, but there is also a separate record, 'Highest Field Goal Percentage, Game (minimum 5 field goals)'. His 100% ties the record shared by the aforementioned Knight (11/18/1973 - 5/5) and Lohmiller, who did it twice (12/30/1990, 10/25/1992 - 5/5).
Suisham's previous NFL best was four field goals (on four attempts), last year against the Philadelphia Eagles (12/10/2006).
This article was released on 2007-11-06.
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