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Blocked punt didn’t change momentum, but Redskins don’t want a repeat

Long snapper Nick Sundberg broke arm on play

- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 9, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — The Washington Redskins would have been more than content to sit on their 13-point lead going into halftime Sunday. Robert Griffin III had the Superdome quiet and the New Orleans Saints wondering what they could do to change the game.

One play brought the crowd to life. With 46 seconds left in the second quarter, Martez Wilson blocked Sav Rocca's punt and Courtney Roby recovered it for a touchdown. It wasn't enough to stem the tide in the Redskins' 40-32 victory, but it was a special teams blunder.

"It's just not executing details of the assignment," special teams standout Reed Doughty said. "We know what we got, and we didn't carry it out."

Wilson appeared to blow by Doughty to block the punt. He said there was no miscommunication on the play, just lack of executing details.

Rocca was as surprised as anyone to see Wilson coming at him that quickly.

"I caught the ball, I went to punt and someone was there," he said.

Roby's touchdown on the blocked punt cut the Redskins' advantage to 20-14, and the play also had a long-term effect. Long snapper Nick Sundberg broke his left arm on the play.

"I tried to get a hand on a guy, he dipped in to try and get around the corner," a frustrated Sundberg said. "When he dipped in, I threw my arm out and his helmet just crushed it."

Sundberg broke the same ulna bone in high school, just in a different spot, and knew right away what happened. An X-ray confirmed the break, but "there really wasn't another choice" for him to remain in the game.

Sundberg snapped the ball nine more times the rest of the game, but he doesn't know how long he will be out.

Cundiff perfect

Billy Cundiff has been asked countless times about his memorable chip-shot miss for the Baltimore Ravens in last year's AFC championship game. One way to not worry about that kind of scrutiny is just not missing.

Cundiff pulled that off Sunday, going 4 for 4 on field goals and booming his kickoffs. He connected from 37, 41, 37 and 45 yards.

"It was nice. During pregame, I actually felt like we started to establish a rhythm, which is about right," Cundiff said. "You have to treat each time we go out as a new opp to develop that rhythm."

Cundiff, who said he missed just once on practice kicks before the game, had no issues with his first attempt, which appeared to just be good, just barely. That kick was clean, just like the rest of Cundiff's day.

"I felt like I got out there and got some reps early, so I was able to reinforce that positive feeling about what we were doing," he said. "Getting a lot of kicks at the beginning really helped."

One of Cundiff's kickoffs hit the top of the uprights, so distance wasn't a problem. That wasn't the furthest he has hit one; Cundiff put a kickoff in the stands last year.

Morris shines

Rookie sixth-round pick Alfred Morris found out Saturday he was starting Week 1, something running backs coach Bobby Turner said Morris deserved for a strong preseason.

Then Morris ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns, showing he might deserve to shoulder the load moving forward.

"I know what I'm capable of," Morris said. "I know what type of guy I am; I know my work ethic, and I'm going to go out there and get it done no matter what."

Extra points

• Safety Jordan Bernstine suffered a severely sprained right knee on a kickoff in the fourth quarter. Coach Mike Shanahan said he is expected to miss significant time.

• Veteran quarterback Rex Grossman was inactive Sunday, and rookie Kirk Cousins backed up Griffin.

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