Two weeks after a blocked punt and blocked extra point factored into a bitter defeat, the Washington Redskins' special teams performance once again were under the microscope Sunday in a tough fought 37-34 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Redskins received the opening kickoff and punctuated a methodical 11-play, 82-yard drive that chewed nearly seven minutes off the clock with fullback Darrel Young's third touchdown in as many games.
Here's an exclusive look from the Washington Redskins' sideline during their Week 3 game with the Philadelphia Eagles.
While it zapped some of the energy out of the home crowd at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles struck back just one play later, as kick returner Chris Polk eluded tackle attempts by safety Brandon Meriweather and punter Tress Way for a 102-yard touchdown return, giving the momentum right back to the home team.
After the game, head coach Jay Gruden admitted it was frustrating to see the Eagles take the kick back for a touchdown just moments after the offense constructed such a strong drive.
"It's a good football team we played and they're going to make their plays," Gruden said. "But we all have our hand in this. Coaching also was defeated.
"So I'm not going to point my finger at special teams. Everybody had their hand [in this], but we do have to figure out a way to cover kicks better."
Young echoed his head coach's thoughts, saying that they found a hole in the Redskins' coverage and attacked it.
"That was pretty rough having a kickoff return for a touchdown," Young said. "I thought we were getting better, but we had some success. Credit to them, they did a really good job scheming us.
"We just have to go back to the drawing board and do some things different, [and] find out what makes us successful."
Also having a hand in the special team unit's struggles was a missed 33-yard field goal by kicker Kai Forbath.
After forcing the Eagles into a three-and-out on their first drive of the fourth quarter in a game that was tied, the Redskins got the ball on their own 45-yard line before driving deep into Eagles territory.
The drive would stall out on the Eagles' 14-yard line, as Forbath – who had successful converted on a career-high 18 straight field goal attempt– came out onto the field with the chance to put the Redskins up by three.
His kick, however, knocked off the right upright.
"It's a 33 yarder, there's no excuse [for missing]," Forbath said after the game. "That's on me. We got a short week.
"We'll come back. I thought I would have another chance to help the team out, unfortunately I didn't, so it's on to the next one."