By Tarik El-Bashir
Grade vs. Buccaneers: C
Comment: It’s not really fair to punish an entire unit because of one player’s struggles. But it’s also impossible to give the special teams any grade better than ‘adequate’ after Sunday’s near miss in Tampa.
As it turned out, of coruse, Billy Cundiff was the hero after connecting from 41 yards out with seven seconds remaining, lifting the Redskins to a 24-22 victory. But the veteran also came oh-so close to being the goat after missing attempts from 41, 57 and 31 yards out.
Cundiff accepted the blame for the first three misses, calling the chip shot he yanked wide in the fourth quarter a “mental error.” But he also mentioned that the Redskins’ field goal unit has yet to completely gel when it comes to timing, which is concerning given that Sunday’s game was the third since long snapper Justin Snow replaced the injured Nick Sundberg.
“There’s a big timing aspect,” Cundiff said after the game. “Justin is snapping the ball and Sav [Rocca] is holding the ball well. It’s up to me to get into rhythm with those two guys. Those guys have been around a long time, and they are doing their job great. It’s matter of me getting on their page – and that’s a tough thing to do.”
He added: “There are a lot of things involved in there. We’re still trying to gel and mesh.”
Overall, Cundiff ranks 30th in field goal accuracy, making 6 of his 10 attempts, which includes misses from 62 and 57 yards out.
Coach Mike Shanahan said on Monday that Cundiff the team won’t hold any kicking tryouts this week. But you can’t imagine he’ll stand pat again if Cundiff struggles against the Falcons on Sunday.