The placekicker position has become a revolving door for the Washington Redskins in recent years. In the past five years, the Redskins have employed three regular season kickers in five years. One of those kickers, Shaun Suisham, is now enjoying success placekicking for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then again, the winning aura that surrounds the Pittsburgh Steelers usually allows players the opportunity to obtain success.
But I digress. During the 2012 NFL preseason, Washington tried Graham Gano, Neil Rackers, and Billy Cundiff at the kicker position. Cundiff eventually won the position, and lost the position after missing one many field goals from close range. The Redskins are not talented enough to squander such opportunities, so a change had to be made.
For once, Washington made an under the radar acquisition, in comparison to their flashy free agent acquistions of years past that didn’t work out. The Redskins acquired unheralded placekicker Kai Forbath before their Week Six game against the Minnesota Vikings. While Forbath was a member of the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers during his brief career, he had never played in an NFL game for either team.
Thus far, Forbath has been effective as the Redskins’ placekicker. Although he has had one point after touchdown blocked, he has connected on all eight of his field goal attempts. One of those field goals was from 50 yards, reflecting the importance of having a placekicker that can make long range field goals.
The Redskins’ offense has proven capable of moving the ball. They score an average of about 25 points per game, which currently ranks 10th in the NFL. However, with any NFL offense, there comes a time when their offense stalls in enemy territory. That’s where a reliable placekicker is needed, and he becomes even more valuable if he’s able to make a clutch kick that either ties or wins the game for his team.
Forbath hasn’t had an opportunity for such a kick. That type of opportunity hasn’t arisen for Washington since their Week Four game against the Buccaneers, when Cundiff was their placekicker. While it’s currently unclear whether or not Forbath has the fortitude to make such a kick, the Redskins hope he can. In any event, the Redskins have to be pleased with his performance thus far, considering past circumstances.