2014 Steelers season scenarios: Shaun Suisham finishes season perfect inside 50 yards

Justin K. Aller

Pittsburgh Steelers kick, Shaun Suisham, has had some ups and downs since signing with the black and gold, but his 2014 season could be his best yet.

Scenario: Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham finishes the season perfect inside 50 yards.

Why it will happen: Shaun Suisham has had some great stretches of consistency for the Steelers since signing with the club in 2010 midway through the season, but he has also had stretches where he looks every bit as "shaky" as he was when he toured the NFC East via Dallas and Washington.

Suisham is set for a solid season as he is entering his fourth season kicking at the tricky Heinz Field, and he is eliminating those misses that seemed to haunt him early in his career. Last season there were some baffling misses, but all in all he had an extremely solid 2013.

Suisham finished the year 3rd among all NFL kickers in 2013 making 30 of 32 kicks, finishing with a 93.8 percentage. Suisham showed great consistency at Heinz Field and that is a large reason why I feel his 2014 will be his best yet.

Last season Suisham didn't attempt a field goal over 50 yards, and Mike Tomlin hasn't been uber confident in Suisham outside of that range. However, inside 50 yards, Suisham will be perfect in 2014.

Why it won't happen: Heinz Field. Need I say more? It is still an extremely difficult place to kick field goals, and Suisham has done it better than almost anyone outside of Jeff Reed in Heinz Field's history. Last season you got a glimpse of a Shaun Suisham that has been known to creep up on the 10 year veteran from time to time in his career. Just think back to the crucial misses in the Oakland loss and the false start / fake field goal on Thanksgiving night against the Ravens. It was those type of plays that had fans from his previous teams ecstatic that he was kicking for someone else.

As good as Suisham has been for the Steelers since 2010, he has the capability of being equally as inconsistent and awful. For kickers, who's mental status could be the equivalent of a golfer with a case of the shanks, it could all go south in a hurry.

Keys: Those that might think a kicker doesn't have much to do with outcomes of games simply has to go back and re-watch the Steelers vs Raiders game last season to see how crucial kicking can be to a team and a season. However, kicking field goals doesn't really have many keys to succeed. It comes down to the kicker being able to block out the distractions of venue and score, and make the kicks they should make when they are given the chance. The kicker Steelers fans affectionately call "Sushi", has the capability of being great, and his 2014 will be just that as he kicks a perfect percentage inside 50 yards.

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