Missed field goals in key spots has fans and media wondering how much longer kicker Dustin Hopkins could be in burgundy and gold
A season that started out as a developmental one has turned into a chase for the NFC East.
With a 25-3 win yesterday against the Dallas Cowboys, Washington finds themselves in second place and a half game behind the Philadelphia Eagles.
If the NFC East is going to stay this bad, then one question remains as the race in the final 9 games of the season is ready to get started.
What to do about kicker Dustin Hopkins?
Hopkins has been reliable enough on a mediocre to bad Washington team in the past that we haven’t had to give much thought about him.
He’s made kicks and has be consistent from 40+ yards out.
But since the beginning of this season, we have seen any reliability Washington has had in him deteriorate.
Through the first 7 games, Hopkins is 3-for-6 on 40-49-yard field goals and 0-for-1 on 50+ yard field goals missing a key field goal against the New York Giants in Week 6.
Additionally, Hopkins decided to kick a line drive kickoff during the game against Dallas. Why is that a problem you ask? If a kick doesn’t have enough air time then your gunners can’t get down to the return man fast enough leaving a chunk of field wide open. Better teams then Dallas will be able to take advantage of that shorter then normal field and put a touchdown on the board.
As Washington battles for the NFC East title, they need a kicker that can be reliable. Someone they can trust in a pinch. This is a team that isn’t going to start blowing out their opponent by 22 points every week. Wins will likely come down to a field goal attempt more than anything else.
One reason to believe that a reliable kicker will be necessary down the stretch is that head coach Ron Rivera has a winning record once the calendar turns to November.
So, if head coach Ron Rivera is dead set on winning the division—and only being a half game back—he needs to start looking at other kickers that might be available. Whether it is via free agency or trade.
You’re either in or your out. If they are in…Dustin Hopkins needs to be out.