Credited with five missed field goals the three previous weeks, Graham Gano entered Sunday’s game as the league’s worst-ranked kicker. In the Redskins’ 34-19 loss to the New York Jets Sunday, he was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts. But it was one bad kickoff that marred the afternoon.
“Field goal-wise, I felt good. I felt I hit the ball well, definitely have confidence,” Gano said. “At the same time, none of that matters unless you win the ball game.”
Despite the field goals, the game spun on one bad kickoff midway through the fourth quarter. The Redskins held a slim 16-13 advantage and Gano was supposed to execute a high, short kick. Instead, it was only short.
“We had a bloop called,” said Lorenzo Alexander, special teams captain. “Graham hit the ground, didn’t hit the kick the way he would’ve liked.”
New York’s Josh Baker fielded the ball at the 20-yard line and returned it to the Jets’ 49. Five plays later, quarterback Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes with a 30-yard touchdown and the Jets would never relinquish the lead.
“I can’t go into details about what happened. We just didn’t execute,” Gano said. “I could’ve hit the ball a little better and our execution could’ve been better on the play entirely. Yeah, wish we could have that one back. There’s not much you can do about it.”
Said Alexander: “We still have to cover that guy, have to get him down wherever the ball hits. We can’t put it all on Graham.”
Gano hit field goals measuring 33, 23, 46 and 43 yards. While his first three field goals broke tie scores, the final one came with only 1:53 remaining in the fourth quarter and briefly made it a one-possession game.
“I’ve felt confident the entire year,” he said. “I think I’m showing that with the way I’m hitting it.”