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Forbath Maximizes Redskins' Opportunity


Kai Forbath said he was too focused on high-fiving his offensive line at the time to hear the roar of the FedExField crowd, but their message was loud and clear.

The 78,476 in attendance at Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings were treated to something not too common from Redskins' kickers this season: a made field goal.

That converted kick, a 50-yarder, was the first of many scores by the home team Sunday in its 38-26 victory of the Vikings, and it meant much more to Forbath: it was his first-career field goal.

Forbath, a UCLA product, was signed by the Redskins (3-3) Tuesday after kicker Billy Cundiff struggled out of the gates, converting just seven-of-12 of his field-goal attempts, including misses on five of his final eight kicks.

So Forbath was relieved to start his own Redskins career with a 100-percent clip, even if it was just one kick.

"I felt great," Forbath said after the game. "I had a good warmup and felt ready for today. I was just happy that we got off to a good start."

The Redskins, meanwhile, didn't get off to the best of starts in Sunday's game. The Vikings (4-2), who entered the game ranked atop the NFC North standings, converted field goals on their first three drives to take a 9-0 lead into the second quarter.

Washington's offense finally began to get things rolling in the period, but stalled at the Minnesota 32-yard line. Head coach Mike Shanahan – who had elected to go for it on 4th and 3 earlier in the drive from the Minnesota 35-yard line – instead sent out Forbath to attempt the 50-yarder.

"Breaking in a kicker and his first kick is a 50-yarder," Shanahan recalled with a laugh after the game. "I started thinking about that and I said, 'That's not going to be very popular if he misses.'"

But the kick was good, and the crowd went nuts.

"I just went out there and hit it like I did in warm-ups," Forbath said. "I don't try to kick it harder than I normally do. I just try to stay smooth and make good contact.

"It felt great."

The field goal also got the momentum on Washington's side, as the Redskins from that point went on a 24-0 run until the 4:23 mark in the third quarter, when the Vikings hit another field goal to cut the Redskins' lead in half to 24-12.

"Anytime you get points on the board, it helps to get the offense going," Forbath said of his field goal. "And it did for us today."

Forbath said he benefitted from a quick connection with long snapper Justin Snow and holder Sav Rocca in the week of practice leading up to the game.

"I've got two great veterans in the operation," he said, "and I can't complain about that."

Shanahan said he was impressed with the way Forbath handled his first game with the team.

"I was really pleased with the way he handled himself throughout the game," Shanahan said. "To handle the situation like that [in] your first kick in the NFL and kicking a 50-yard fiel goal and he nails it says a lot about him.

"Hopefully, he can keep it going."

Forbath also was a factor on kickoffs, forcing four touchbacks and keeping the ball out of the dangerous returner Percy Harvin's hands several times throughout the game.

But the lasting memory for Forbath from Sunday's game will always be seeing his first-career field goal attempt go through the uprights.

"It was just a great opportunity to get off to a great start," he said. "We needed some points, we were down – good snap, good hold, great protection and I just kicked it."




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