Seattle Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare set the team record for most consecutive field goals made with his two against the 49ers.
Being the man who ultimately decided the outcome of the Seahawks’ 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday could hardly have thrilled Olindo Mare less.
In the locker room, moments after his 30-yard field goal sailed between the uprights at the north end of Qwest Field as the game clock ran out, Mare was asked about being the hero. He looked away and shrugged his shoulders.
“It’s about doing your job,” the veteran kicker said. “Tell you what, it definitely feels good to win, and as a couple of the older guys were talking about it, they’re never the same. Every one [field goal] seems like it’s bigger than the next, and it’s always good to break a record on a win.”
Mare accomplished both feats plus one more Sunday. The first of his two field goals, a 25-yarder with 5:30 left in the game that put the Seahawks in front 17-14, gave Mare sole ownership of the franchise record for consecutive field goals made. The second, another boot with the score tied, won the game, and made Mare the 22nd kicker in NFL history to convert 300 field goals for his career.
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Mare entered Sunday’s game tied with Todd Peterson (1999) and Josh Brown (2004) at 16 field goals in a row. He’s made every try he’s attempted since missing twice in the Chicago game at Qwest Field in Week 3. The two he drilled Sunday came at the end of the field he finds more challenging, with swirling winds.
“Realistically, at the end, anything inside of 50 [yards] is what we were looking at,” Mare said. “It would have been real hard after that.”
A long completion two plays before the field goal made sure the kick would be from much shorter distance.
Wide receiver Nate Burleson compared Mare’s roll to a basketball shooting guard with a hot hand.
“Everybody else around you is going to relax, because they know it’s going in,” Burleson said. “That’s how it is with the kickers. … It was kind of money. We were in position. It was pretty close in my opinion, so I knew it was kind of like a chip shot. You never take things like that for granted, but he’s been pretty awesome this year. So there was no doubt in my mind we were going to win.”
The streak is now up to 18, but like the teammates in the dugout that leave the pitcher with the no-hitter alone in the late innings of a baseball game, no one’s going to bring it up this week.
“I get paid to make all the field goals, whether they’re to go up 3-0 or to win the game,” Mare said.
Kicking key field goals wasn’t the only thing the Seahawks called upon Mare to do. Instead of a long field-goal try, he blooped a pooch punt from the San Francisco 34 down to the 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter that pinned the 49ers deep in their own territory.
“I think the ball took a funny bounce and the wind kicked up in our face,” Mare said. “So maybe it was a good decision we didn’t go for [the field goal]. To make one from 52 or 53 into the wind, it would have taken my best kick I’ve had in a long time.”
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org