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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Agony and ecstacy for Dawson

By Marla Published: December 5, 2010

Browns kicker Phil Dawson experienced the same agony that Carolina's John Kasay felt a week ago when his 42-yard game-winning field goal hit the left upright as time expired.

With 7:12 left in the third quarter of Sunday's 13-10 victory over the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium, Dawson's 47-yard field goal attempt that would have broken a 3-3 tie hit the same upright.

"All you can do is pick a target and try to hit it and sometimes the ball doesn't do what you think in the air,'' Dawson said. "I didn't expect that one to go to the left quite as much as it did. Those are the kind that hurt.''

Dawson said the wind, clocked at 10 mph from the west at kickoff, was a problem all day. But it did not keep him from making his 14th game-winner, a 23-yarder as time expired.

"It was pretty intense wind. It seemed to pick up as the day went on. A lot of gusts, a lot of swirling,'' he said. "I've got to give the guys who kick here every week a lot of credit. Everybody thinks 'We're going to Florida, it's going to be a nice, easy day.' It definitely wasn't easy today. One of the tougher days we've had all season.''

 Dawson said he wasn't feeling overconfident on the game-winner. He's now 18 for 23 on field goals this season.

"You really felt the wind down there,'' he said. "The offense did a great job setting it up right where we wanted it and that's a kick you have to make. I certainly wasn't trotting out there thinking it was just a gimme. The wind was really going left to right hard, I knew just get it up, they're going to be coming hard off the edge, they're going to get a lot of push up the middle.

"Generally when you're in a lot of wind you want to drive the ball. In a game-winning situation like that I'm thinking 'Get the ball up' so it doesn't get blocked. So now you've got to play more wind. All this stuff is going through my mind. But it went through and we won the game and that's all I care about.''

Asked if he almost had too much time to think about it when quarterback Jake Delhomme took a knee three times, Dawson said, "No, there was good communication on the sideline, I knew what they were doing. That allowed me to go through my routine so when the time came, it was just a normal kick.''

Dawson liked that after defensive back Mike Adams picked off Chad Henne's deflected pass and returned it to the Miami 2, coach Eric Mangini didn't try to go for a touchdown.

''Mike made that big play getting the ball back and getting us down there, the decision was made to set up for a field goal, which I obviously appreciated,'' Dawson said. "We executed and got it done.''

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