Succop Hits the Game Winner

From Arrowhead Stadium

It was a familiar feeling for Ryan Succop. Yes he’s just in his third NFL season, but he’s stood there before, the outcome of the game in his hands, or rather foot.

In fact, the last time it had happened was exactly 365 days before, on a Halloween Sunday at Arrowhead against Buffalo.

This time it was Halloween Monday and the opponent was the San Diego Chargers.

“Just the way the game was going, I had a feeling it was going to come down to a kick,” said Succop after his 30-yard FG provided the winning points in the Chiefs 23-20 victory. “When it was 20-12 and they’re down by eight, you know they’re going to go for two if they score. If they got that one, then you knew what was going to come next.”

The Chargers never got a chance to get their shot at the winning field goal after QB Philip Rivers fumbled the ball away at the end of regulation. San Diego also got the ball first in overtime. But once the Chiefs had the ball, Succop felt for sure it was going to be the deciding drive.

“We started moving the ball and it just seemed like it was all falling into place,” Succop said. “I really wasn’t nervous at all. We had done a good job all night snapping and holding and didn’t expect anything else.”

When QB Matt Cassel connected with WR Steve Breaston on a 3rd-and-14 play that move the ball to the San Diego 30-yard line, the Chiefs were in Succop’s kicking zone. In the pre-game warm-up kicking towards the east goal posts he had nudged one over from 51 yards away. With the ball at the 30, it would be a 48-yard field goal.

“We felt like we would have a chance from the 36, 37-yard line,” head coach Todd Haley said. “The wind had really picked up as the game went on. “In the timeout before we started overtime, I saw both kickers miss one left and miss one right to that same end zone.

“I kept asking ‘Are we trying to score here?’ We talked through it. It’s always a fine line in the decision making to when to go ahead and send the kicking team out there.

“When you do that, you are expecting a successful operation.”

The Chiefs went ahead and nibbled at the distance, running Jackie Battle four straight times for 0, 9, 6 and 0 yards. On 2nd-and-10 at the Chargers 15-yard line, Thomas Jones ran for three yards.

Saving a fourth down for a possible second attempt if needed, Haley sent the FG unit out on 3rd-and-7. The Chargers used their last timeout, attempting to ice Succop.

He wasn’t bothered at all – his kick was right down the middle.

“He hit it really solid,” said holder Dustin Colquitt. “I didn’t even have to look up. Just by the sound, I knew it was good.”

With a pair of earlier field goals from 36 and 47 yards, Succop is now 10 of 13 on the season, for 77 percent. He’s now made nine straight and hasn’t missed a FG since the September game against the Chargers.

“I was able to put a good strike on the ball and it came off nice and smooth,” Succop said.

Nice, and smooth, and good.

Ryan Succop’s Game Winning FGs in Overtime

Date Opponent Quarter Distance
November 22, 2009 Pittsburgh OT 22 yards
October 31, 2010 Buffalo OT 35 yards
October 31, 2011 San Diego OT 30 yards

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