In the coming weeks, Redskins reporter Tarik El-Bashir will examine five candidates to break out in 2014. We’ve already looked at tight end Jordan Reed and cornerback David Amerson. Today, we’re looking at kicker Kai Forbath.
2013 stats: 18 of 22 field goals, 10 of 10 from 30-39 yards out, longest of 50 yards
Contract status: Signed through 2014
2013 in review: After setting an NFL record for consecutive field goals to start a career and leading the NFL in field goal percentage in 2012, Forbath made all seven of his attempts last preseason.
The regular season, though, proved to be one challenge after another. He missed Weeks 2-4 with a groin muscle strain that he tweaked in practice. Then, in Week 5, long snapper Nick Sundberg was lost to a season-ending knee injury, disrupting one of the league’s best most reliable field goal operations.
In Week 9, Forbath had two field goals blocked against the Chargers, including one that was from 59 yards out. After that, however, the 26-year-old rediscovered his form and was perfect the rest of the way, connecting on 13 in a row, including four from 40 or more yards out.
2014 Outlook: Forbath’s perfect finish—over a stretch of eight games—makes him a prime candidate to enjoy a breakout year.
Of the four field goals that Forbath missed last season, in fact, only two can really be questioned – his miss from 40 yards out against the Eagles and the 25-yarder against San Diego that he kicked too low and got blocked at the line. (His other misses were from 49 and 59 yards.)
Assuming Forbath stays healthy, there’s no reason he can’t be one of the league’s most accurate kickers over the course of a full 16-game schedule. The only question, it seems, is whether he’ll become good enough on kickoffs to be considered one of the game’s most well rounded kickers.