Grading the Washington Football Team 2021 special teams

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 09: Joey Slye #3 of the Washington Football Team celebrates a successful field goal with teammate Tress Way #5 in the second quarter of the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on January 09, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 09: Joey Slye #3 of the Washington Football Team celebrates a successful field goal with teammate Tress Way #5 in the second quarter of the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on January 09, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Washington Football Team Joey Slye
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – JANUARY 09: Joey Slye #3 of the Washington Football Team reacts after a successful field goal in the first quarter of the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on January 09, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Washington Football Team Kicking Game

This was not the best area of Washington’s game this year. In fact, they went through four different kickers in one season.

To be fair, if it wasn’t for an injury it would have only been three. That’s still not good though.

The Washington Football Team started the year with Dustin Hopkins – who had been their kicker since 2015. He had been pretty solid but had bad moments over the years. He played in six games for Washington this year, going 12-for-14 on field goals and 10-for-12 on extra points.

A missed clutch field goal really hurt. And he was bailed out a few times with timeouts and penalties (especially against the New York Giants). Washington was off to a bad start and it seemed like a good time to try someone new at kicker. B- grade for Hopkins.

In came Chris Blewitt. This didn’t work out at all. He went 2-for-5 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points. All three of his missed field goals were blocked. This wasn’t really the line’s fault though. Blewitt was kicking line drives, making it easy for defenders to just put their arms up and get a piece of the ball. Going to give him an F grade sadly.

Next was Joey Slye. Slye was amazing. He was a perfect 12-for-12 with Washington on field goals and 9-for-10 on extra points. That included banging a 55-yarder. The dude gets an A+ grade.

He missed some time due to injury though. And this led to Brian Johnson getting a chance. He went 2-for-2 on field goals (including a game-winner against the Las Vegas Raiders) and 4-for-5 on extra points. A- grade for getting thrown into the fire and coming out clutch.

Overall, it was a pretty mixed bag. Hopkins was eh and Blewitt was miserable. But Slye and Johnson really cleaned it up. Slye has an absolute boot and is still only 25. Washington should go ahead and try to lock him up as the long-term solution.

The team went 28-for-33 on field goal attempts as a whole. That’s 84.8% and puts them in the middle of the pack.

They only allowed 21.4 yards per return on kickoffs (30 return attempts). That’s pretty solid. Especially adding in the fact that they had zero kicks go out-of-bounds and didn’t allow a touchdown.

I’m going to give Washington a slight boost though because they ended the year with the right guy as their kicker. With that in mind, they can hold on to a strong B grade as well.