Mark Moseley long considered among the best field goal kickers in the National Football League suffered the most humiliating day in his nine-year professional career yesterday missing three field goals in the Redskins 14-0 loss to Seattle at RFK Stadium.
"I've never been in any kind of slump before," said Mosely who was booed as he ran onto the field in the third quarter after having missed on attempts of 33 and 50 yards -- well within his range in past seasons.
"I haven't been kicking the ball that badly the first three games but today I just didn't hit the ball well at all," Mosely said.
Mosely coming off his best season as a pro was wide to the left on a 33-yard attempt at 12:19 of the first quarter. A field goal would have given the Redskins the lead.
His second attempt from 50 yards with six minutes gone in the third quarter, was low and to the right. Moseley said afterward he kicked on the ball's laces.
The third, from 52 yards out, was also wide right and none of the attempts had the high arching end-over-end trajectory so characteristic of Moseley's kicks. His zero-for-three perferomance gave him a dismal two-for-nine record through the first four games of the season.
"When things are going bad nothing seems to fall into place," said Redskin Coach Jack Pardee. "It's (Moseley's slump) just part of the things we have to work out."
The Redskins strongest asset during Moseley's seven years with the team, has been his kicking. And the way things are going for the Redskins they can ill afford a slump-ridden Moseley.
"It's just like a baseball player in a slump," said Moseley. "I've just got to get a hit -- soon. It's a letdown for the entire team. It's always been so automatic before and it's going to be that way again.
"I've never had a confidence problem before this, but I fall into that category now.
"I can't offer any reason for the missed kicks. I'm disappointed right now but I'll get over it. I'll just have to study the game films all week and compare them to old films to see if I'm doing something different -- which I don't think I am -- plus work like hell."
Moseley added that besides blowing nine points, the missed field goals had a psychological effect on his teammates.
"I've always been a consistent part of our game no matter what the situation," he said.
The Redskins were in two situations in a fourth-quarter drive in which Pardee normally might have called on Moseley.
On fourth down and one yard to go on Seattle's 26-yard line, Pardee could have elected to send Moseley on the field for his fourth attempt. Almost 13 minutes remained.
But Pardee kept his offensive unit on the field and fullback Wilbur Jackson plunged two yards for the first down.
Pardee was faced with the same decision four plays later on fourth and one from the Seattle 15 and he again kept the offense on the field as quarterback Joe Theismann completed a pass to Bobby Hammond before the drive ended with an end zone interception.
"I wasn't too optimistic about going in to kick field goals than late in the game with us being seven points down," said Moseley. "I was hoping we would go for the first downs. We needed to keep the drive alive."
Pardee said his decision to let the offense stay on the field was not a no confidence vote on Moseley's ability to come through but rather an attempt to give a shot in the arm to the offense.
"If I'm a man, I'll grab a hold of my britches and pull myself out of this and say to hell with this," said Moseley.
It's not like I don't have the ability or I haven't done the kicking field goals before. I'll get back to the point soon when I'll walk up the field, kick the ball through the uprights and walk back off.
"I'll come out of this thing on top.""