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Despite miss, Graham Gano still confident

With Sunday's failed attempt in the fourth quarter, kicker Graham Gano has now missed field goals in three straight games. But Gano said he feels he's actually kicking the ball better than ever.

"I think I'm more confident leaving this game than I have been," he said, following Sunday's 17-14 win.

Gano is now 13-of-18 on field goal attempts thi season, courtesy of the 46-yarder he nailed in the second quarter.

"I don't think I've hit a ball that well this season," Gano said. "I just think I keep getting better and better."

But the field goal the Redskins really needed came in the fourth quarter. Washington led by only three points and Gano could've given them a bit of breathing room. He trotted on the field for a 37-yarder and felt pretty good as the ball flew off his foot.

"I hit it awesome," he said. "I hit it right off my foot. I thought, 'Oh, that's a good kick.' It was going right down the middle. The wind just took it and pushed it to the upright."

It hit the left upright square, in fact, and fell to the ground. Wind was a factor all game.

The official game summary noted that the wind was blowing 11 mph to the southwest, though that changed many times over the course of the afternoon.

Still, Gano says he did the best he could, given the day's conditions.

"I feel like I got better today," he said.

By Rick Maese  | October 24, 2010; 7:30 PM ET
Categories:  Graham Gano, Special teams  
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I like him, but I'm still not completely sold on him. He has a strong leg and his kickoffs are good but one day one of his crucial misses are going to cost us a game. Any pro kicker must make a 37 yarder, wind or no wind.

Posted by: rachel216 | October 24, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I think we should stick with Ganno for now. He kicks off better than anyone we've had for probably a decade, and when he does miss, it's not by much, so his technique is good. I think he may end up being a pretty good kicker.

Posted by: edvar | October 24, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Best part of the Raiders blow out of Denver -- they showed highlights of another high scoring game -- the Skins 72-41 win over nyg. 10 TDs and a last second FG (Sam Huff called a late time out just to rub it in to his old coach). A couple of TDs with SJ9 throwing to CT42.

fwiw, after the horrid game last week, Campbell had a very strong game. The first Raider drive for a TD, they overcame both a penalty and a dropped pass that would have been a 1st down. Nice to see.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 24, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll accept his excuse that the wind took his kick to the left, it did look like it was going to be good, but not by much.

He still seems to have a tendancy to miss kicks that by NFL standards should be routine, 20-30 something yards.

Posted by: 72Redskins | October 24, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

This is a recurring theme... every week. Gano "still confident" (after missing a pretty damn important kick the day before)

Posted by: cpayne624 | October 25, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Well here's the deal - this is a Redskins thing where everyone is always ready to blame the kicker. We got rid of the last one, and early in one season we had beaten St. Louis 9-7 and the only points accounted for the kicker. They get blamed for losses but never given credit for any part in the win. It's always...well they're doing their job and it was the offense that got them down the field and into that position. Well why aren't we blaming the offense for not scoring touchdowns and instead putting it on the back of the kicker?

I look at it this way - yes it's Gano's job. But 2 extra points and 1 field goal equals 5 points. Without those 5 points, the Redskins lose that game.

I don't see anyone rallying to get rid of Donovan McNabb for what was a boneheaded attempt to get rid of a football when he just should have taken the sack in that instance. That was 7 points gone the other way and if he hadn't made that mistake it would have been a 10 point win, and there's the breathing room.

Multiple dropped passes by very good receivers - at least 3 or 4 that were on the money would have kept drives going and any one of them could have given us "breathing room". That's THEIR job, to make very routine catches. Those dropped balls are the equivalent of shanking a 20 yard Field Goal by a PRO player. Everyone just pats them on the back and they'll say, "we just have to make the plays"....and go get 'em next week.

We have to start acting like this is a football team, and stop looking for someone to blame every week. And in this case we won the game and they're still trying to blame someone.

That FG for all purposes wouldn't have mattered - it didn't put the game away and still would have left Chicago 1 score down.

Bottom line, Gano needs to stay away from the media and try to concentrate, because if he listens to this B.S., it's going to be in his head, and self fulfilling prophecy, he will "lose" a game...when in reality, they shouldn't be needing him this much. Score Touchdowns and this becomes a much smaller issue.

Posted by: MiniHaHa | October 25, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Agree with you MiniHaHa, but just like the QB often shoulders the blame for a crummy o-line or drops by less-than-perfect receivers, the kicker is held to a "must always make the kick" standard. As you very accurately state above, that may not be fair, but it's part of the kickers job in the NFL to meet that standard or take the criticism.

Posted by: jiji1 | October 25, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Gano is in the bottom half of NFL kickers and has missed key kicks in losses to Houston (OT) and the Colts. If the Redskins had lost yesterday or gone into OT vs. Chicago, would people think that Gano has a "strong leg and like his kickoffs." Bottom line is that Snyder despite all of his free wheeling spending has never signed a top kicker in his prime. It's always a young guy with potential who ends up missing big kicks and gets cut. The last reliable kicker we had was Chip Lohmiller over 15 years ago.

I can't understand how supposed weak teams can have kickers like Rian Lindell in Buffalo or Joe Nedney in SF, but the Redskins are always getting a rookie or someone off the scrap heap. It's only a matter of time before Gano misses a kick with the game on the line that the Redskins should win. Wind or no wind, there is no excuse for missing a 37-yard FG. Longer kickoffs are great, but I'd take a reliable kicker who makes them in the 4th quarter and OT when they are needed.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 25, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm not as confident as Gano is pretending to be.

Look around the league, though. There are a lot of pretty bad kickers drawing a paycheck each week, which leads me to believe there are only a handful of "automatic" kickers on the market.

I'm worried about Gano, but something tells me he may actually work out... In time... I hope.

Lohmiller was mentioned and I can recall (due to my advanced age) when HE was called "Low and Wide" Miller. He was all over the place when he started. I remember well.

And after him, Snyder got John Hall, who was an excellent kicker for years, but who finally succumbed to age or mileage, take your pick.

Suisham, nope.
Novak, nah.

Let's hope Gano sticks. I think MiniHaHa has it right: If he keeps working and practicing and keeps his mind on his job and not what the media is saying, that gives us the best chance.

What do we have to lose? I mean, seems like most teams used to have automatic kickers. Now, it seems like many do not. Which has actually helped us out a couple times this year.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 25, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Gano is fine - it gets windy in Chicago. He's about middle-of-the-pack talent wise but he'll do. MiniHaHa got it right. If the offense did their job he wouldn't have to kick so many field goals.

Posted by: coparker5 | October 25, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

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