Grading the Redskins: Special teams shaky

Grading the Redskins: Special teams shaky
January 1, 2013, 1:30 pm
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New season starts Sunday for the Redskins

Special teams

Grade vs. Cowboys: C+

Comment: It was bound to happen, and it finally did in the first quarter Sunday: kicker Kai Forbath’s streak of perfection came to an end when his 37-yard attempt clanked off the right upright.

Forbath never got another opportunity and will enter the Redskins' playoff game against the Seahawks 17 for 18 to start his NFL career. Which, of course, is not too bad.

“We cut him since he missed that,” Coach Mike Shanahan joked Monday. “No, I mean those things happen. Anyway, we’ll allow him one miss. That’s okay.”

Niles Paul returned three kickoffs for 92 yards, including a 48-yard return to the Redskins’ own 46-yard line late in the fourth quarter. And although they didn’t score on the ensuing drive, a Sav Rocca punt pinned Dallas deep in its own end and a Rob Jackson interception moments later helped seal the victory.

On kickoffs, Forbath did not put any of his five kicks into the end zone. The coverage, however, unit did not allow any returns longer than 21 yards.

Dwayne Harris, though, did inflict some damage on punt returns. He took back three for a total of 78 yards, including a 39-yarder in the fourth quarter that, after a 15-yard facemask penalty on Rocca, set up the Cowboys at the Redskins’ 16. Three plays and a two-point conversion later, Dallas had closed to within 21-18.

Overall, special teams were not as sharp as they had been previously. None of the errors, though, were of the egregious variety, either.