Steven Hauschka’s in-close kicks have been low and bending.
And on Tuesday, he was short on explanations for his recent struggles.
On the surface, Hauchska has had another fine season for the Seattle Seahawks, going 33 of 37 on field goal attempts.
Where he’s had big problems is on PAT kicks. Hauschka has missed an NFL-high seven attempts (31 of 38), including one after a fourth-quarter touchdown in Seattle’s 26-6 victory Saturday over Detroit in the NFC wild card playoff round.
“Something’s a little bit off, that’s all,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Five of Hauschka’s PAT kicks have been blocked. The one Saturday clanked off the upright.
“It’s been an interesting year for me obviously,” Hauschka said at his locker staff before practice Tuesday. “A lot of factors are going on. I am done analyzing. I am going to go play the next game.”
That did not quiet the questions.
Hauschka was asked whether the new PAT distance — a standard 33-yard kick, as opposed to the old 20-yarder — was difficult to adjust to, especially mentally.
“I wouldn’t say the distance is an issue,” Hauschka said. “I am just done analyzing it. There is nothing to look at.”
More questions ensued. For each one, Hauschka provided an answer in a polite yet terse tone.
“It is a very mentally challenging position, especially throughout the course of the season,” Hauschka said. “At the end of the year, you are not going to be the sharpest mentally. I am just letting things go, honestly.”
The last time the Seahawks met Atlanta in the NFC playoffs was 2013 — a game the Falcons won, 30-28, on their home field.
It was also a game Hauschka missed with a calf injury, suffered the previous week in a playoff game at Washington. Ryan Longwell was signed for the rest of the postseason as his replacement.
The next year, Hauschka made all 17 of his kicks in the postseason, including eight field goals, in helping Seattle to a Super Bowl 48 win over Denver.
“I have been through all the different situations,” Hauschka said. “I’ve played in a couple of Super Bowls. It’s not about that. It’s about letting these things go, accepting it, moving on — and kicking the ball through the uprights.”
FALCONS MISS TRUFANT
FALCONS MISS TRUFANT
Atlanta coach Dan Quinn says he does not like using the “next man up” mantra when losing star players.
In this case, it is cornerback Desmond Trufant (chest), a Tacoma native and Wilson High School graduate who was placed on injured reserve in late November with a torn pectoral muscle.
“We’re totally bummed that Tru has left — just like in Seattle when Earl (Thomas) is not there,” Quinn said. “Those guys are a real factor in the game. You count on the next guy to try and do the best job that he can.”
Quinn said that Trufant has still been present in position meetings with teammates.
Carroll said running back Thomas Rawls (general wear and tear after 27-carry workload Saturday) and fullback Marcel Reece (foot) are on track to start against the Falcons. He was uncertain about the status of defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (concussion). ... With a Seahawks’ victory Saturday, quarterback Russell Wilson would tie New England’s Tom Brady and Baltimore’s Joe Flacco for most playoff wins in his first five seasons with nine. ... The Seahawks are 10-6 overall against Atlanta and have won the past two meetings — 33-10 in Atlanta in 2013 and the 26-24 win in October in Seattle.
Todd Milles: @ManyHatsMilles