Holder Sav Rocca deserves a lot of credit for helping to save the Redskins’ 17-16 victory over New York last Monday night. He smothered a low snap on the decisive extra point and got the hold down for Kai Forbath to kick the ball through the uprights.
On the sideline before that PAT, long snapper Nick Sundberg had been firing snaps back to Rocca. The energy of the game was impacting the velocity, Sundberg said later.
Sundberg recognized the practice snaps were coming back too hot, so he took something off it in the game. That was problematic, though, because the ball almost didn’t make it all the way back to Rocca.
Rocca played down his rescue of the decisive point.
“I don’t think it was that difficult,” he said. “It would have been more difficult if it had bounced before me, but it got to me and I trapped it. Those ones there, as long as it’s a tight spiral and it gets there, if you can trap it OK you can usually get it up pretty quick.”
Sundberg’s return from a broken left arm coincided with the start of the Redskins’ three-game winning streak. The Redskins actually are 4-0 this season when he plays.
Sundberg, like all long snappers, are perfectionists, so he was quite upset with himself after the game. He and Rocca are confident it was a one-time hiccup.
“It’s very unusual for Nick to put one on the ground like that,” Rocca said.
“What you want as a holder is the ball to come back at the same speed every time,” he said. “When it comes back at different speeds, well then that’s when you have to get your timing right. It’s all about timing. Nick has been back for a couple of weeks now, and we’re still able to get it right.”