- Adam Teicher, ESPN Staff Writer
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs are staying with the struggling Ryan Succop as their placekicker for Saturday’s wild-card round playoff game against the Colts in Indianapolis. Succop has earned the right to keep kicking for the Chiefs and don’t be surprised if he eventually rewards the Chiefs for his patience.
“He knows he needs to get everybody’s confidence back,’’ special teams coach Dave Toub said. “Coaches, players. He just needs to make a bunch of kicks in a row here now. These ones coming up in the playoffs, they’re critical.’’
Succop has missed three of his last four field goal attempts, none more critical than the 41-yarder try he sent wide to the right in the final seconds of the fourth quarter last Sunday in San Diego. The kick would have won the game for the Chiefs.
Instead, the game went to overtime, where it was won by the Chargers.
Succop started the season making 21 of his 24 field goal attempts before his recent slump.
“He needs to focus on this (next) kick,’’ Toub said. “Those other kicks are gone. We know he was thinking about those other (failed) kicks.’’
Succop has hit plenty of clutch kicks for the Chiefs in his five seasons. He is tough-minded enough to overcome his recent problems.
“He’s set all-time records here in Kansas City,’’ said punter Dustin Colquitt, who holds on field goal attempts. “He’s obviously one of the better kickers that’s ever played here. He’s exceptional inside 40. He hits a lot of field goals in cold weather games and windy games here at Arrowhead. He kicks off better than anybody I’ve ever played with.
“He’s been in good spirits. You’ve got to have a thick skin to play in this league whether you’re a quarterback or a kicker or anything in between. He’s doing (well). He hit all of his kicks (Tuesday).’’