- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 23, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Kai Forbath keeps making field goals for the Washington Redskins, and Sunday he broke an NFL record.

With his 17th, Forbath set a new mark for consecutive field goals made to start a career.

“It’s awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Forbath said. “I’ve been happy we’ve converted on all our attempts so far, and going to take it one week at a time like we’ve been doing.”

Forbath hitting field goals has been the most automatic thing for the Redskins since they signed him in October. It’s a stark departure from Billy Cundiff, who missed five of his 12 attempts during his five games with Washington.

Forbath was good from 45 and 42 yards in a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. He has made 12 field goals of longer than 40 yards.

He’s money, and his teammates know it.

“He’s a kid that’s very focused, does his craft very well, and they’ve been doing a great job,” special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander said. “I’m always confident. Every time he walks up there, I walk to the other side to get ready for kickoff knowing that he’s going to make it.”

Coach Mike Shanahan said his mindset on fourth down and short is different with Forbath because he has been so reliable. There was no hesitation letting him attempt the 45-yarder in the second quarter.

But Forbath has his limits, and Shanahan has not put him in spots to test his leg strength. The Redskins went for it on fourth-and-2 at the Philadelphia 35 instead of forcing Forbath to attempt a 52-yarder.

That would have been more than just a challenge of distance given how Forbath said the wind was “unpredictable at times.” He wasn’t thinking about the wind when he did get on the field.

“Our team needed points, and I just go out there one kick at a time and try and keep this thing going,” Forbath said.

The record, previously set by the New Orleans Saints’ Garrett Hartley in 2008 and ‘09, was on Forbath’s mind because he was asked about it this past week. It didn’t deter him, but so far nothing has.

“I expect him to make every kick,” nose tackle Barry Cofield said. “He’s done a great job, and he’s one of those guys that you hardly notice, and that’s a good thing.”

Hurt steps in for Polumbus

When right tackle Tyler Polumbus still was experiencing symptoms Sunday morning from the concussion he suffered a week earlier, that eliminated any chance of playing. Maurice Hurt stepped in against the Eagles’ Brandon Graham, and even with a couple of mistakes, did not provide much of a drop-off in his play.

“Anytime you get a guy like Tyler Polumbus that can’t play, a guy like Mo Hurt comes in, starting the year out as a guard and you’re down to your fourth right tackle and he comes in and plays at a very high level,” Shanahan said. “I’m very impressed with him.”

Graham finished with a team-high seven tackles, including one notable one for a loss on Redskins running back Alfred Morris, but he did not register a sack.

Hurt made eight starts at left guard last season; this was his first career start at right tackle.

“[The hardest adjustment was] the space you have to deal with at tackle, the different type of athletes you have to deal with at tackle,” Hurt said. “Combined with those things and having to block guys off the edge and whatnot are things you don’t really have to deal with at guard. You’re out there, you adjust and you try to make the best of the situation.”

Cooley makes first catch

Tight end Chris Cooley made 428 catches during his first eight seasons with the Redskins, setting a franchise record along the way. On Sunday, the veteran who was cut during the preseason and then re-signed in October made No. 429 on an 8-yard pass from Robert Griffin III.

But something was different because this was his first catch of the year.

“It was fun because everyone on the sideline was excited for me,” Cooley said. “Oobviously, the first down’s a big deal, but there was a different excitement from all the guys around me, so it felt good.”

Cooley was well aware it was his first catch since coming back. For a guy who used to be such a prolific piece of the passing game, though, waiting this long for the first was a bit of a surprise.

“It’s the role that I’m in right now. It’s not weird to me,” Cooley said. “It’s just do what I can do for the team.”

Extra points

• Safety DeJon Gomes suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and was forced to leave the game. Shanahan said he did not know what degree of sprain it was and that Gomes would be evaluated more Monday.

• Cornerback Josh Wilson (shoulder) left briefly but returned. “It is what it is,” he said. “I guess in honor of Kellen Winslow Jr. I’m a soldier.”

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