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Drive of the Game: Running Game Sets Up Game-Winning Field Goal By Dustin Hopkins


This week's Redskins Drive of the Game, presented by Ford, was highlighted by the Redskins' running game burning clock and setting up a game-winning field goal by Dustin Hopkins.

With 7:53 remaining in a must-win game for the Washington Redskins, the team first and foremost needed points. The New York Giants had just kicked a field goal to retake the lead in a back-and-forth contest, and it was Washington's turn to respond.

Not only did the Redskins find the points they were looking for, but also killed two birds with one stone by taking 6:02 off the clock and putting the pressure back on the Giants.

In all, it was a 10-play, 56-yard drive for the Redskins that showcased a facet of the offense that had been questioned throughout the preseason and into an 0-2 start in the regular season: the running game.

Lead running back Matt Jones carried the ball eight times on the drive for 37 yards – more than half of his yardage total for the day – behind an offensive line that had been decimated by injuries throughout the afternoon.

Both starting guard Shawn Lauvao and starting center Kory Lichtensteiger had exited the game. Spencer Long, who originally entered for Lauvao, shifted to center when Lichtensteiger couldn't continue.

"Oh, it's huge," Long said of the Redskins' run game on the final drive. "We just wanted to win the dang game, and we did a good job running the clock out and our run game going. We trust Matt . Matt's a heck of a runner, tough runner."

That brought on Ty Nsekhe to play left tackle, moving Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams to left guard for the first time in his life. The left side of the Redskins line was vital on the game-winning drive as Jones ran to the left side three times for 28 yards.

"It was one of those drives where we knew we wanted to eat up clock," Williams said. "We wanted to keep the ball on the ground and just continue to grind out those yards. Matt did a great job of finding holes. Obviously the front five, the tight end did a good job of opening them up. We looked to chew the clock up and take the lead."

After gaining three first downs on the drive, the Redskins were stopped on third down at the Giants' 19-yard line. That brought on kicker Dustin Hopkins for a fifth field goal attempt on the day. Just like the first four, Hopkins nailed the 37-yard kick to give Washington a 29-27 lead with 1:55 to go.

"That was the first time in the NFL I've had five attempts," Hopkins said. "I had a couple five attempt games in college, but that's been awhile. It was a fun one just to get that under your belt. My grandparents were here, my parents were here, a lot of our close friends, my wife and I's close friends. My in-laws as well. To have everybody here at a game that was really special for me in particular, but the team as a whole is awesome too."

The fifth field goal was a career-high for Hopkins and tied a team record for a single game. Hopkins is now 11-for-11 for the year, leading the NFL in makes and percentage.

After Hopkins nailed his ensuing kickoff for a touchback, the Giants had just 1:51 to work with. Following one first down, New York quarterback Eli Manning was intercepted by Washington rookie Su'a Cravens, and that was that. The Redskins had their first win of the season.

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