Sometime during today's Washington-Green Bay game at RFK Stadium, Mark Moseley most likely will kick a field goal, something he has accomplished in all but one Redskin contest this season.
That kick will give Moseley 23 field goals for the year, his highest total as a professional. He also is only six points short of surpassing his highest point output (97) as he strives to overtake Earl Campbell in the NFL scoring race.
For Moseley, these figures back up his feeling that this has been his most consistent year as a pro kicker. Yet he still isn't sure that such glowing satistics will earn him either his first trip to the Pro Bowl or his initial placement on the All-Pro team.
"Blame it on my shoe," he said disgustedly yesterday after the Redskins finished their final workout for today's 1 p.m. meeting with the Packers (WDVM-TV-9), a game in which Washington is favored by 9 points.
"Ever since Dallas started that stuff about me having lead in my shoe, I can't shake it," he said. "I think the players throughout the league still believe I have something in my shoe and that's why I get the distance I do."
Moseley usually has his kicking shoe checked by the officials before every game and the result is always the same. Nothing illegal. But that still doesn't shake the rumors.
"There isn't much I can do about it," he said. "It's a shame something like this has to get started. I work hard, harder than any kicker. That's why I kick the way I do.
"I'd love to go to the Pro Bowl. I've been the runner-up the last three years and that is frustrating. My dream also is to be the All-Pro kicker. It's something I've been striving for."
Moseley also feels a trip to the Pro Bowl might finally shake the lead-shoe story. "Once the players there see I don't have any artifical help, maybe that will take care of it once and for all."
At this point, Moseley certainly isn't a shoe-in for all-pro honors. He is receiving competition from Toni Fritsch of Houston (87 points, 17 of 19 field goals), John Smith, of New England (100 points, 20 of 29 field goals), Efren Herrera of Seattle (84 points, 17 of 21 field goals), Rafael Septien of Dallas (82 points, 18 of 25 field goals) and rookie Tony Franklin of Philadelphia (78 points, 17 of 24 field goals).
Franklin's barefoot style and 59-yard success on national television help his cause. Herrera also has done well on Monday night TV. Smith leads all kickers in total points with eight more than Moseley (and one extra game before today).
Yet probably no kicker has been as valuable to an NFL team this season as Moseley has been to the Redskins. Coach Jack Pardee readily admits his offense is designed in part to set up Moseley kicks, "because Mark is the most dangerous kicker around and we'd be stupid not to take advantage of him."
Moseley's last-minute boots have won two of the Redskins' eight games this year. He personally outscored Atlanta, 9-7, in another triumph, and two field goals kept Washington within striking distance of Cleveland until a late touchdown drive pulled out the victory.
"We kick field goals when other clubs punt," said quarterback Joe Theismann. "With Mark, we know we don't have to drive that far to set up a field goal. It makes our job 10 yards easier."
Moseley has hit 22 of 28 field goals this season. No other NFL kicker has more than 20. Of the misses, two were from 70 and 74 yards, two from 49 and one from 47. Another was blocked and, last week, a 46-yarder hit the the right upright. But he still is nine of 14 with kicks from the 40 to 49.
Twice before, Moseley has topped the NFL in total field goals. He also has established himself as the league's most accurate PAT man. He hasn't missed on 26 attempts this year and now has failed on only two of his last 108 tries.
Since Moseley joined the Redskins in 1974, he has averaged 86 points a year. During the span, the All-Pro kickers have been Chester Marcol (1974), Jim Bakken (1975 and 1976), Herrera (1977) and Frank Corral (1978).
"Other than one breakdown in my concentration (when his sister died a month ago), I've been satisfied," Moseley said. "I've never felt more confident in what I'm doing out there. I feel if I reach my goal of 30 field goals, then we'll win our next three games and that's what is really important to me."
For the record, Moseley wears the following inside his oversized right shoe: five or six socks for a tight, tight fit and an extra heavy amount of tape that locks his ankle and gives him what he calls "good leverage."
If both clubs play to form today, however, Moseley probably won't need to use that golden foot for any last-second heroics.
Green Bay is, according to TV commentator Sonny Jurgensen, "a bad football team." The Packers are 4-9 for the year and 0-4 on the road. To try to shake that streak, Coach Bart Starr is going with a new starter at quarterback, veteran Lynn Dickey.
Dickey came off the bench last week in a 21-10 loss to Philadelphia and completed 14 of 22 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown.
He will be throwing to a gifted wide receiver, James Lofton (43 catches 772 yards), and a fine tight end, Paul Coffman (45 catches for 564 yards). And running back Terdell Middleton has gained 485 yards despite nagging injuries all season. Fullback Eric Torkelson has picked up 254 yards in the last four games.
But the Green Bay offensive line has given up 34 sacks (Washington has surrendered 27) and the Pack has been held under 13 points four of the last six games.
That low production isn't enough to overcome a porous defense that should be susceptible to Theismann's short passing game. Green Bay is last in the NFC in defense, which Starr calls "embarrassing." His club has given up 250 points overall and 362 net yards a game while registering 25 sacks, compared with 40 at this stage last season.
Pardee has spent the latter part of this week trying to build up the Packers -- "they are a darn good 4-9 team," he said -- probably in an attempt to avoid having his players come out flat.
The Redskins would be foolish to take any game too lightly. They need to win their next two outings -- and hope Chicago loses one of its last three, starting with Tampa Bay today, to guarantee a trip to the playoffs.
To reach that goal, Washington will have to overcome the loss of strong safety Ken Houston, out for the season with a broken wrist. He will be replaced today by Tony Peters.
Running back Benny Malone also might not play. His sore back wasn't much better yesterday and Pardee wasn't sure if Malone would start. If he doesn't, his chores will be divided among Clarence Harmon, Ike Forte and Bobby Hammond.
Green Bay has lost 18 fumbles and thrown 18 interceptions this year. The Pack will be going against an opponent that already has forced 41 turnovers . . . Former Maryland star Charley Johnson will start at defensive tackle for Green Bay while former Redskin Tim Stokes is a backup offensive tackle . . . Theismann enters the game with a streak of 86 passes without an interception.