Football

Super Bowl could come down to kicks

IRVING, Texas -- Forget tundra and the Ice Bowl. Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is just fine with the idea of kicking indoors for the Super Bowl.

Close the Cowboys Stadium roof, shut out the wind and keep the ice outside. It all makes Crosby’s job that much easier.

The Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers appear to be fairly well matched going into Sunday’s Super Bowl, each with a high-powered offense and stingy defense. So the game could come down to the feet of Crosby or Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham.

Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum says Crosby is used to dealing with worse weather than most kickers. So any pressure he might feel Sunday will be mitigated by near-perfect kicking conditions.

Suisham is a journeyman who struggled while kicking in several NFL camps since entering the league in 2005. But, he might have finally found a home in Pittsburgh. He replaced the popular and once-reliable Jeff Reed in November and finished the regular season 14 of 15 on field-goal attempts.

Suisham, who missed a 43-yard field goal in the divisional playoff against Baltimore, shakes his head at the fact he could decide the outcome of a Super Bowl.

If either offense stalls outside field goal range, pressure will shift to the punters.

Both teams will be familiar with Jeremy Kapinos, who was sitting at home two months ago, waiting anxiously for another chance at the NFL.

Then, his phone rang and it was the Steelers. They needed a fill-in punter after Daniel Sepulveda was injured, and Kapinos was on a flight from Arlington, Va., the next day.

A few tryout kicks and he had the job.

After all, he expected to be punting for the Packers and helping them make a championship run. Instead, he wasn’t re-signed last season and went home angry. After a one-week stint earlier this season in Indianapolis, he now gets a chance to help beat the Packers team that rejected him -- in the Super Bowl, no less.

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