Punt returns end up being a non-factor
There was a tremendous amount of discussion at Redskins Park during the week about who would return punts for Washington. Coach Jim Zorn initially said he would rely on cornerback DeAngelo Hall, turning away from regular returner Antwaan Randle El, but then reversed course during the week, declaring Randle El his main guy.
The issue was a non-factor in the game. Randle El went back to receive the first punt of the day, on which he signaled a fair catch. The play was nullified because of a penalty on the Redskins.
Hall, though, got more work. He made a fair catch on an Atlanta punt early in the second quarter, and his only return attempt came in the second half, when the Redskins had pulled within 24-10. He caught the ball at the 21 near the left hash and ran backwards and right. He was corralled easily, losing two yards on the return.
On the other side of the punting game, Sam Paulescu -- who was signed Thursday to replace regular punter Hunter Smith, who has now missed three games with a groin injury -- performed extremely well. Paulescu punted three times for an average of 50 yards, with a long punt of 53. His net average was 46 yards. ..... Place kicker Shaun Suisham made a 48-yard field goal and, halfway through the season, is still perfect on field goal attempts. The five-year veteran has now converted all 10 attempts this year, and the 48-yarder Sunday tied for his longest of the season.
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