Steven Hauschka learns about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Scott Eklund/AP)
There are those who believe that kickers aren't important, but you'd have a tough time convincing Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll of that right now. With 2:46 left in the second quarter of Seattle's game against the Tennessee Titans, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch took the ball in from the Tennessee 1-yard line for a touchdown, and kicker Steven Hauschka's extra point put the Seahawks up, 7-3. However, on the ensuing kickoff, Hauschka was absolutely trucked by returner Darius Reynaud, and examined for a possible concussion. (GIF below via Bleacher Report.)
Seattle forced a punt on the next Titans drive, and took the ball down to the Tennessee 4-yard line. Because Hauschka was still out of the picture, punter Jon Ryan had to attempt the field goal with a few seconds left in the first half, with reserve defensive back Chris Maragos holding. Ryan never got a chance, because Maragos bobbled the snap, and Titans cornerback Jason McCourty returned the fumble 77 yards for a touchdown. (GIF below also via Bleacher Report).
To his credit, Hauschka came back to kick a 31-yard field goal with 4:31 left in the third quarter to tie the game at 10-10. Who says kickers aren't tough guys?