Seahawks kicker Stephen Hauschka missing a game-winning field goal was among the many oddities of Sunday night's 6-6 tie with Arizona.
In the wake of the Seahawks’ bizarre 6-6 tie at Arizona Sunday, much was made of Pete Carroll’s supportive comments of Stephen Hauschka after his missed 28-yard field goal with seven seconds left prevented Seattle from winning.
“I love him and he’s our guy,’’ Carroll said of Hauschka.
Many on social media noted the contrast between that statement and Arizona coach Bruce Arians comment regarding his kicker, Chandler Catanzaro, who missed a 24-yard field goal with 3:26 left. Arians said of Catanzaro “Make it. He’s a professional. This ain’t high school. You get paid to make it.”
The statements unquestionably provided a peek into the differing styles the two coaches have adopted throughout their careers — Arians one of the most frank coaches around and Carroll perpetually positive.
There was also some practicality at work here as well, though.
The game was the second time this year Arizona had a chance at a late field goal to beat a big-time team at home and didn’t get it done, the other coming in the opener when Catanzaro missed a 47-yarder against New England with 36 seconds left (with a bad snap also getting some blame on that one).
If he makes those two, Arizona is 5-2 right now and on top of the NFC West.
For Hauschka, meanwhile, it was the first time he’s missed a potential game-winner since becoming Seattle’s kicker since 2011, as Carroll noted on Monday. “He’s always come through for us and we’ll continue to count on him,’’ Carroll said.
Indeed, some of Hauschka’s clutch kicks during the 2013 season earned him the nickname “Hausch Money.’’ Notably, he made a 45-yarder in overtime that year to clinch a win at Houstonand a 27-yarder to beat Tampa Bay in overtime.
Hauschka last year hit a 24-yarder with 1:06 left to give Seattle a 13-12 win at Dallas and last week nailed a 44-yarder with 1:57 left for the winning points against Atlanta.
Neither Hauschka nor Carroll had any real explanation for the Arizona miss — which was hooked to the left — either after the game or on Monday.
Said Hauschka afterward: “I was very confident. It is just an unfortunate play and I feel bad about it. But we are going to grow and get stronger. I will be a stronger kicker after this.”
Carroll said after the game he thought the snap and hold were fine, and he did not think the field goal unit appeared rushed. Seattle did not call time out prior to the kick, though the Seahawks had one left.
“If we weren’t in the sequence that we normally are, I would’ve called a time-out there because I don’t want us to rush anything,” Carroll said afterward. “Everything looked fine and we were clean and I thought the best thing was to let our guys do what they always do. Of course we figure we’re going to make it.”
Said Carroll on Monday: “Stuff happens sometimes. Unfortunately it’s not unique to us, and obviously it was right across the field from us, too.”
One potential factor? Hauschka has had issues in that stadium before.
Hauschka missed three field goals there in 2014, though it hardly mattered because Seattle won 35-6 (and it’s worth remembering that the kicks were from 52, 50 and 47 yards).
He is 15-23 on field goals in his career at University of Phoenix Stadium, which includes making two kicks of 52 yards last season when the Seahawks beat the Cardinals 36-6 (he also hit a 27-yarder in Super Bowl XLIX there).
Still, Carroll noted that Hauschka’s history in that building is a little odd.
“We were aware of it going in but we didn’t talk about it very much because we just didn’t want it to happen again,’’ Carroll said. “For whatever reason it’s something about the turf there, I know it’s (Arizona defensive lineman) Calais Campbell and some of those guys, they have a lot of blocks over the years, they’ve done a real nice job there. It just has been a place for him that he hasn’t kicked very well. I’m not worried about that because we don’t play there again right now.”
But while Hauschka hit the winner last week against Atlanta, he also had a point after touchdown blocked and missed a 29-yarder, each in the fourth quarter. It’s hard to say that’s necessarily a trend, though, since Hauschka is 12-14 for the season, 86 percent, tied for ninth in the NFL.
Asked Monday if he had any concern about Hauschka’s recent glitches, Carroll said “I don’t think that.’’
That each team’s kicker missed short field goals in the final minutes of overtime only added to what might have been the most odd game in Seahawks’ history.
It was the first tie, the longest in time (the Seahawks had never played a full overtime before) and only the third 6-6 game in NFL history since 1938 — all of which have involved the Cardinals.
It was also just the 21st time an NFL game has ended in a tie since overtime was established in 1974, two years before the Seahawks entered the league.
As Carroll said, it was all just a bit unusual.