Steven Hauschka: Seahawks' unsung hero

Steven Hauschka: Seahawks' unsung hero
Seattle Seahawks' Steven Hauschka, right, kicks a 38-yard field goal from the hold of Jon Ryan against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter of an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game in Seattle, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
While it's easy to applaud the accomplishments of Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, and Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks fans shouldn't forget Seattle's unsung hero -- kicker Steven Hauschka.

After playing for two different teams (including the Denver Broncos) in just three years, Hauschka found a home with the Seahawks. He's played in every game for Seattle the last three seasons, but he found incredible success this year.

Hauschka was the king of consistency during the regular season. He was a perfect 44 for 44 on extra point attempts, while also nailing 33 of 35 field goals. Only one of those field goal attempts was a true miss, though (a jaw-dropping, upright-clanking miss against Arizona). The other failed attempt was actually blocked against the Colts.

The playoffs haven't been any different for Hauschka. He's a perfect 6 for 6 on field goal attempts and 4 of 4 on extra points. His consistency has earned him the nickname 'Haush-money' with his Seattle teammates and coaches.

Those numbers are really impressive, but they only really mean something when you dig into them. Seattle's offense had plenty of ups and downs this season. When they struggled to score touchdowns, Hauschka was always a surefire bet to put points on the board. To put it simply -- the Seahawks might not be in the Super Bowl without him.

Including the playoffs, Hauschka had six games where he made three or more field goals. He also drilled two overtime game-winners during the regular season (one against Houston and the other against Tampa Bay). To make an even stronger statement, Hauschka accounted for 11 of the Seahawks' 23 points in each of their playoff wins this year.

It seems like everyone is predicting a close game in Super Bowl XLVIII, so Hauschka should be valuable once again. It's very possible the Seahawks' title hopes fall on his leg in the final seconds. If this season tells us anything -- there's no reason to worry.