- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 11, 2015

ATLANTA — Dustin Hopkins knew he left his foot open when he missed a 53-yard attempt in the third-quarter, so when the Washington Redskins‘ kicker prepared for a 52-yard attempt that could tie the score, he knew what he had to do to make sure the ball would part the uprights.

“It’s not knowing what you need to change,” Hopkins said. “It’s actually making the change.”

Hopkins made the tying attempt as time expired, forcing overtime in the Redskins‘ eventual 25-19 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Despite the adjustment, Hopkins acknowledged he didn’t strike the ball particularly well, undercutting it and adding a slight draw that, as it turned out, ended up helping.

SEE ALSO: Kirk Cousins’ resiliency a reason why Redskins had chance late against Falcons

“I was trying to approach it like every other kick,” Hopkins said. “I know it was a big one in the moment, but at the same time, my keys were the same. I wasn’t trying to do anything different. It wasn’t like it was from 60 [yards] where I had to really gear up and try to kill it.”

The 52-yard field goal was the longest by a Redskins kicker since Graham Gano made a 53-yarder against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 24, 2011. It also meant Hopkins became the first Redskins kicker to force overtime with a tying field goal since John Hall did so against the New York Giants on Sept. 21, 2003.

The third-quarter miss was the first for Hopkins, a rookie who has played in four games with the Redskins. Until then, he had made all six of his attempts; with a 28-yard conversion earlier in the fourth quarter, he has now made eight of nine.

SEE ALSO: Patchwork secondary controls Falcons’ passing game, gives Redskins a chance

A 20-yard reception and a 19-yard reception helped the Redskins move into field goal range, and then a seven-yard reception by wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who took the ball out of bounds with five seconds remaining, left Hopkins with 52 yards to clear.

“I knew we didn’t have to rush onto the field to try to beat the clock or anything like that with those timeouts in our pocket,” he said. “I was just trusting in our offense, and they got us in range, and I was just thankful it went in.”

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