Washington Football Team: Dustin Hopkins kicking game-winner for Chargers is poetic justice
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Football Team didn’t have a volatile kicking problem until they decided to release Dustin Hopkins.
Speaking of which, who exactly was behind that decision? Was it entirely Ron Rivera’s call? Did Rivera consult GM Martin Mayhew and the front office? Did special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor have a say in the matter?
Whatever the case, it looks like an egregious mistake.
We speculated that cutting Hopkins loose in favor of Chris Blewitt, who had never kicked in an NFL game before a few weeks ago, was asking for trouble. If we, and countless other fans, reporters and talking heads realized it was a high-risk move, why couldn’t Washington’s inner-circle?
It really boggles the mind. And it just so happens that Hopkins is flourishing in his new threads, which just so happen to be the nicest in the NFL!
On Sunday, Hopkins served up a freshly-cooked dish of poetic justice by nailing the game-winning field goal for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Dustin Hopkins kicking a game-winner for the Chargers should send a message to Washington
Success truly is the best kind of revenge.
A big Austin Ekeler run on the play before Hopkins’ game-winner derailed the suspense that was building up in the final minute, as it looked as though the 31-year-old would have to line up from beyond 40 yards.
Alas, it was a 29-yarder, but it still counts as a game-winner. We’ve seen plenty of kickers falter on shorter kicks with games on the line.
Before you flame us in the comments, we know Hopkins missed an extra point. It was that same inconsistency that drove fans insane and had some campaigning for his release before it actually happened.
However, our rebuttal is very simple. Everybody and their mother knew Washington wasn’t going to find an upgrade. These weren’t two separate decisions. They go hand in hand. The last time we checked, every team needs a kicker. If you’re not going to bring in a better one, then decision No. 1 was a terrible idea. Case closed.
Funny what happens when your kicker can clear the line of scrimmage, right? It’s almost like that’s a crucial part of the job. Who knew?
In Week 8 (his Chargers debut) Hopkins drilled his lone FG attempt, a 48-yarder, and all three of his extra-points in a loss to the Patriots. In Week 9, he came up big against the hated Eagles by making both of his FGs, including the game-winner with two seconds remaining in regulation.
Blewitt, on the other hand, has had three of his first five field goal attempts blocked. That means 60% of his kicks haven’t cleared the line of scrimmage.
We’re obviously pulling for Blewitt to turn it around, but we’d also be lying if we said we aren’t happy for Hopkins and miss seeing him trout out for field goals in the Burgundy and Gold on Sundays.