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Kicking units need to rekindle chemistry

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Kicking units need to rekindle chemistry

Chemistry.Its a word that gets tossed around a lot when discussing NFL field goal and punting units. Yet it remains hard to define and, for some teams, can prove elusive.After adding kicker Billy Cundiff on Aug. 28, the Redskins field goal kicking operation found its groove last week. Now, though, the unit must start all over again as Justin Snow replaces Sundberg, who broke his arm against the Saints on Sunday.Obviously, two out of the three of us are new in just last two or three weeks, said Snow, who was signed Tuesday. Billy got a rhythm with Nick and Sav, and now its all changing again.What shouldnt be underestimated is the importance of the connection between snapper, holder and kicker. Or, for that matter, snapper and punter.Against the Saints, the Redskins field goal unit had no issues as Cundiff made all four of his attempts and four more PATs in a 40-32 victory at the Superdome.But on Monday night, an injury to Pro Bowl snapper Jon Condo cost the Raiders a game. Oakland was forced to use to an ill-prepared backup, who rolled two snaps to the punter and botched another. The miscues led directly to a 22-14 loss to the Chargers.A lot of times it gets overlooked until a situation like that happens, Snow said of the importance of long snappers. Then you end up losing a game. Theres only one of us, and unless you have a great backup, that can happen.Rocca said Snows snaps on punts shouldnt be a problem, given Snows experience. Field goals? Well, thats something else entirely because of all of the moving parts.Its timing, Rocca said. There is a moment where I look away, then look back at the snapper. Once we get all that timing down, that shouldnt be a factor. Its just those couple of days where we iron out all the creases."Snow knows. Hes used to it all, Rocca added before making a joke about getting a new kickerandsnapper less than a month: It keeps things interesting, thats for sure.Of the three, Snow, 35, figures to have the most information to process.Its all the same snap, he said. But you have different language, different verbiage. You have to learn what their calls are, what to expect, just figure out that chemistry with the others.Then theres the actual snap.How far back does the holder need to be to catch 12 oclock laces? Snow continued. The guards on the punt team, figuring out the blocking scheme. Its all the same, but its different as well.Snow, who was unceremoniously released by the Colts after 12 seasons in Indianapolis on cutdown day last month, beat out five other snappers to fill the Redskins opening. Sundberg was granted the teams only injured reserve exception and is expected to take back his spot when his arm heals.For me, I just know I have to perform, Snow said about the temporary nature of his job. Thats all I can control.Cundiff said it took about a week to get comfortable with Sundbergs snaps and Roccas teeing up the ball after he arrived in Washington. He expects the same timeframe with Snow entering the equation.My mantra since I got here essentially is, Be comfortable being uncomfortable, Cundiff said. So, if you start working backward, it took about four times working together before we really started clicking.This week, he added, well probably get two times in practice, then the game will be the third time. So it will be really close.How close? Well find out Sunday.

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Three things that aren't being talked about enough from Redskins-Raiders

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USA TODAY Sports

Three things that aren't being talked about enough from Redskins-Raiders

Is that what it feels like to watch the Patriots on a weekly basis?

The Redskins 27-10 victory over the Raiders on Sunday night was about as impressive of a performance as the Burgundy and Gold has produced in recent memory.

That means many of the huge storylines — like the return of Really Good Kirk Cousins, a secondary that locked down Oakland's weapons and Chris Thompson casually posting a Julio Jones-like receiving stat line — that have, and will continue to be, hashed over. But there are a few topics that are being overlooked following the Week 3 Washington win.

Here are three Redskins-Raiders things that should be talked about a little more.

1) The Redskins didn't make many mistakes, but when they did, they recovered really nicely

The 'Skins were in control of that ballgame pretty much from the start. But there were some points, like Jamison Crowder's muffed punt or Samaje Perine's fumble, where the team gave Oakland some life.

Yet Jay Gruden's team deserves more shine for the way they bounced back from those errors. The defense forced a three-and-out after Dustin Hopkins missed a 52-yarder. They also held the Raiders to three deep in their own territory when Perine put the ball on the ground. And the offense, behind Thompson's 74-yard catch-and-run, put three points on the board right after the Silver and Black scored their only TD.

Those few moments caused those at FedEx Field to hold their breath. But the Redskins' resiliency was key in maintaining their breathing room.

MORE: WE TOOK SOME SWEET PHOTOS ON SUNDAY NIGHT

2) It was another incomplete effort from Dustin Hopkins

Speaking of Hopkins, Sunday night was a good but not perfect performance.

The Redskins' kicker missed the aforementioned attempt from 52 yards away, making Week 3 the second straight time out he's missed one from 50 and beyond. He converted all three of his extra points and was true on two other field goals so it wasn't all bad, but there'll be moments in 2017 when he'll be relied upon to hit from long range, and thus far, he's come up empty.

That miss is the type of thing that gets passed over in victories. Those are pointed to very quickly in losses, however.

3) You know the D-Line was a force, but let's not forget who they did it against, either

Jim Tomsula's unit made Derek Carr look more like his brother. Once you consider who they pushed around, though, their domination becomes even more notable.

The Raiders offensive line is regarded as one of the league's elite groups, but they looked pedestrian in D.C. The four sacks they allowed were the most they've given up in their last 20 regular season and playoff games. Greg Manusky's front seven will enjoy watching the film from this one.

RELATED: SEVEN OF THE BEST STATS FROM REDSKINS-RAIDERS

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Redskins 2017 NFL Schedule Week 4 vs. Chiefs: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch and Betting Odds

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USA Today Sports

Redskins 2017 NFL Schedule Week 4 vs. Chiefs: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch and Betting Odds

Everything looked different for the Washington Redskins during their Week 3 win over the Oakland Raiders. They looked like a different team. 

Quarterback Kirk Cousins more than doubled his yardage from Week 2 — completing 25-of-30 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns — running back Chris Thompson was the Redskins' best receiver with six catches for 150 yards and one touchdown and the defense shined against Derek Carr and the Raiders.

The Redskins are now on a two-game winning streak, but can they continue it through to Week 4 against quarterback Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs on the road at Arrowhead Stadium? 

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the Week 4 Redskins vs. Chiefs game Monday night. 

RELATED: 5 TAKEAWAYS FROM REDSKINS VS. RAIDERS

Redskins vs. Chiefs, Week 4 of the 2017 NFL season

Who: Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs

Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City Missouri

What: Week 4 of the 2017 NFL season

When: Monday, October 2, 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: NFL Game Pass

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Betting Odds: According to VegasInsider.com, the Washington Redskins are a 6.5-point underdog against the Kansas City Chiefs.

PHOTO GALLERY: Best photos from NFL Week 3, Redskins 27 Raiders 10

Washington Redskins 2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Week 1 (Sun. 9/10): 30-17 loss vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Week 2 (Sun. 9/17): 27-20 win at Los Angeles Rams

Week 3 (Sun. 9/24): 27-10 win vs. Oakland Raiders

Week 4 (Mon. 10/2): at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:30 p.m. 

Week 5 (Sun. 10/8): BYE WEEK

Week 6 (Sun. 10/15): vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1:00 p.m. 

Week 7 (Mon. 10/23): at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:30 p.m. 

Week 8 (Sun. 10/29): vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.

Week 9 (Sun. 11/5): at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m.

Week 10 (Sun. 11/12): vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m. 

Week 11 (Sun. 11/29): at New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m.

Week 12 (Thurs. 11/23): vs. New York Giants, 8:30 p.m.

Week 13 (Thurs. 11/30): at Dallas Cowboys, 8:25 p.m. 

Week 14 (Sun. 12/10): at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. 

Week 15 (Sun. 12/17): vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:00 p.m. 

Week 16 (Sun. 12/24): vs. Denver Broncos, 1:00 p.m.

Week 17 (Sun. 12/31): at New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. 

MORE REDSKINS: Can Washington hang on to its recent success?