The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

After forcing overtime with 52-yard field goal, Redskins kicker laments earlier miss after loss

Kicker Dustin Hopkins (3) celebrates after hitting a game-tying field goal at the end of the fourth quarter. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

ATLANTA — Signed by General Manager Scot McCloughan expressly for his strong leg, Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins made the 52-yard field goal as time expired that forced overtime against Atlanta.

But Hopkins was subdued in a hushed visiting locker room following the Redskins’ 25-19 defeat after leading much of the game, regretting his earlier miss — from 53 yards — midway through the third quarter.

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With the Redskins leading 7-3, Hopkins sent the 53-yard kick wide right, with 6 minutes 41 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Atlanta took over on downs and replied with an 11-play drive that Falcons kicker Matt Bryant capped with a 28-yard field goal that cut the Redskins’ lead to 7-6.

“It’s a shame I didn’t make the first one because the game would have been entirely different,” said Hopkins, who out-performed his Falcons counterpart, making two of this three attempts (from 28 and 52).

Bryant hit from 42 and 28, but missed from 38 and 48.

“It’s good to get a pressure kick under my belt,” said Hopkins, 25. “But at the same time, I need to make everything.”

[Video: Redskins collapse against Falcons in OT]

Of the two long kicks, Hopkins said he actually hit the 53-yard miss “more solid” than the 52-yard make that forced overtime.

“I just wish I could have made the first one,” Hopkins said. “That being said, I’m glad that I could recoup from the miss and just focus on the next kick.”

The Redskins signed Hopkins, a sixth-round pick from the 2013 NFL draft, to replace Kai Forbath the day after the season-opening loss to Miami, primarily seeking a stronger performance on kickoffs.