I don't trust that guy. I never feel confident when he kicks. I didn't even want him back this season. I was a huge advocate for signing former Ravens kicker Matt Stover. He is 40, which isn’t too old for a kicker, and he is still very reliable from inside 45 yards.
But I must admit that Suisham saved the game today.
When punter Hunter Smith got hurt early in the game Suisham came in and delivered. His first punt was a crucial forty yarder out of his own end zone. He also made a great angling punt at the end of the game to push the Bucs behind their twenty yard line. None of his punts gave the Bucs a chance to return them for any significant yardage.
His punting average for the game was less than 40 yards, and some might think that isn't good. For an emergency punter, that is excellent. If anyone wants to see what could have happened, go to youtube and search for a video entitled "bad day for Joe Theismann".
Theismann was forced into punting duties when his punter was injured against the Bears in 1985. His first punt went exactly four yards off of the side of his foot. This was the exact same part of the field where Suisham kicked.
Suisham also kicked a 42 yard field goal amid swirling wind conditions; the same conditions that caused the Bucs to miss two forty yard+ kicks. He also launched a kickoff through the back of the end zone. He is usually short on his kickoffs, but he was great today.
Last year, Suisham had the worst field goal percentage of any starting kicker. Most of his misses were from outside of 40 yards. Some of them were even short, which is very disconcerting.
While he has not attempted a “long” field goal by NFL standards this year, he has made the ones that he has been asked to make.
He did have a point after attempt blocked which, if you look at the play, is clearly the result of a lapse in blocking assignments. The snap, hold, and kick were perfect. Adam Viniateri couldn’t have gotten that kick off.
Congratulations Shaun Suisham. I hope this game helps to build up your confidence and you continue to perform in the clutch down the stretch.