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2016 Season In Review: Specialists


The Redskins once again carried the same trio of specialists in 2016, as Dustin Hopkins set a franchise record while Nick Sundberg and Tress Way helped a strong punt game.

As the Redskins head into the offseason following back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1991-92, will provide position-by-position reflections from the 2016 squad.

Take a look back at the top images of the Washington Redskins' special teams from the 2016 season.

Our final look is at the specialists.

State Of The Unit
Through the first four games of the season, Dustin Hopkins was among the most accurate kickers in the NFL, as the Florida State product converted all 12 of his field goal attempts.

In fact, Hopkins was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September, highlighted by a performance against the New York Giants in which he was perfect on all five of his tries including a game-winning kick from 37 yards with less than two minutes left.

But the 26-year-old would run into midseason troubles, highlighted by a miss of the post against the Detroit Lions in Week 7 and two misses against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8 including a potential game-winner in overtime.

Hopkins would also go just 2-of-4 against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day before returning to form late in the season.

In total, Hopkins would finish the year with 34 field goal makes – setting a new franchise record that was previously set by Mark Moseley (33 in 1983) – and his 138 points ranks fourth on the franchise's single-season scoring list.

Punting for the Redskins once again was Tress Way, who has settled in quite well in Washington and has established himself as one of the best players at his position today.

While Way's attempts were way down in 2016 (49) from the previous year (70) – a credit to the offense's success in moving the football and avoiding three-and-outs – he still managed 15 punts to be downed inside the 20-yard line.

Way was also successful with his lone trick play on the year, launching a perfectly placed pass to Quinton Dunbar for a gain of 31 yards.

Additionally, the Redskins did not allow a punt return touchdown.

Nick Sundberg, meanwhile, continued to be the leader of the group, but the long snapper did miss two games with a back injury. Old Dominion product Rick Lovato replaced him in those games.

In the return game, Jamison Crowder – who was named a Pro Bowl alternate -- finished the year returning 27 punts for 328 yards and one touchdown, as he gutted the Baltimore Ravens' special teams unit in Week 5 for an 85-yard score.

His 12.1-yard punt return average was the best by a member of the Redskins since 2001 (12.5, Eric Metcalf).

Six different players collected a kickoff return, led by Chris Thompson who recorded 17 returns for 360 yards.

What's Next For The Group
Hopkins and Way are both under contract for the 2017 season, but Sundberg will soon become an unrestricted free agent.

The Cal product has been the Redskins' long snapper dating back to the 2010 season and is regarded as a top player at the position.

Terence Garvin – who led the team in special teams tackles with 16 – could also be an unrestricted free agent after completing a one-year contract. 

2016 Redskins Season In Review:

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