The Washington Redskins have made a push all off-season to improve their special teams. They’ve brought in better tacklers and better punt and kick returners. But they also drafted a kicker in seventh round draft pick Zach Hocker. He’s known for his strong leg and he used it to his advantage Thursday night against the Patriots.It’s not that starting kicker Kai Forbath isn’t good at his trade. He solidified the position for the Redskins in 2012 by having an outstanding season. However, in 2013 Forbath suffered from a groin injury that effected his leg strength. And subsequently he wasn’t as good on long field goals and kickoffs.
Kickoffs are extremely important when comes to field position. Because if you have a kicker who can get touchbacks then the opposing offense is forced to start at their own twenty yard line. But short kickoffs gives their returner a chance to get them better field position. And sometimes a few extra yards here and there is the difference between winning and losing.
Hocker showed that he can get the Redskins touchbacks, while Forbath had one kickoff that went out-of-bounds and allowed the Patriots offense to start at the 40 yard line. Forbath also missed a field goal and Hocker made both of his. Hocker even made a tackle in the open field on a kickoff. And that had to score him some points. So it was a good night for Hocker and not so much for Forbath.