- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thanks to the NFL’s breast cancer awareness initiative, there was plenty of pink on the field and sidelines at FedEx Field on Sunday. After another rough outing, kicker Billy Cundiff could be seeing more of it in the way of a pink slip Monday.

Cundiff, already on thin ice after going 1 for 4 last week, missed a 31-yard attempt in the Washington Redskins’ 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He’s 3 for 8 since the season opener but said he wasn’t worried about job security.

“It’s not my job to worry, to be perfectly honest with you,” Cundiff said. “It’s my job to focus on what I do and make kicks.”

Cundiff made a kick in the third quarter, a 23-yard chip shot. But on the season he’s 7 for 12, which could lead to his dismissal, possibly Monday.

Coach Mike Shanahan, who stood by Cundiff and did not work out other kickers last week following a game-winner in the final minute, was not forthcoming about plans.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do. I never say anything right after a game,” he said. “We’ll let 24 hours go by, collect our thoughts, make decisions you think gives you the best chance to win.”

Missing routine field goal attempts is not conducive to beating the Falcons. The Redskins had fourth and 4 from the Atlanta 13 with a chance to go up 10-0 late in the second quarter. That’s when Cundiff’s kick sailed just wide right.

“I missed it. That’s about it. Let’s be honest, guys. That’s a very makable kick, and I should’ve made it, he said. “We’ll just keep it simple. Let’s be serious. I just messed up. It’s my responsibility to make those kicks, and it just didn’t happen.”

Shanahan was disappointed given that it wasn’t a long kick.

“That’s always disappointing when you’ve got a chance to get a little momentum going, especially at that time of the game,” he said.

It especially was disheartening because of what the Falcons did next. Matt Ryan guided them on an eight-play, 79-yard touchdown drive to tie the score.

“It’s huge. Obviously, you take points off the board for us, and they were able to drive down and get a touchdown in a two-minute situation, so it’s a big momentum swing,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “It obviously gave them a little bit of life, and they were able to come out and sustain it and eventually won the game.”

Last week, after he missed his first three attempts, Cundiff was relieved to get one more chance at redemption. Asked about wanting to be able to do that again Sunday, he was quick to give reporters a math lesson.

“You look at the final score, and obviously even if I would’ve made that field goal, we still would’ve needed four more points,” Cundiff said. “So it’s one of those things that you obviously would’ve needed two more field goal attempts beyond that.”

• Stephen Whyno can be reached at swhyno@washingtontimes.com.

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