Grading the Redskins: Crawford, Forbath are clutch

Grading the Redskins: Crawford, Forbath are clutch
December 11, 2012, 11:30 am
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(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Special teams

Grade vs. Ravens: B+

Comment: Kicker Kai Forbath was again perfect on field goals, connecting from 48 and 49 yards out in regulation and 34 yards in overtime. Forbath is now 14 for 14 to start his NFL career. 

But the special teams player of the game was the other youngster who set up Forbath’s winner: Richard Crawford. Despite not dressing for the previous five games, Crawford made the-game changing play in overtime by returning a punt 64 yards to the Ravens’ 24.

“What Richard did was he took the ball, tried to get upfield and make some people miss,” Coach Mike Shanahan said on Monday. “Catch the ball, turn upfield and get some positive yards. That last one was the different in the game.”

It’s only one outing, but Crawford (three punt returns for 100 yards) might have taken Brandon Banks’ job as punt returner. Shanahan made Banks, who has struggled all season, inactive for the game.

The special teams performance, however, was not perfect. With the Redskins trailing by a point in the third quarter, Forbath attempted to angle a kick away from Jacoby Jones but instead sent it bouncing out of bounds, putting the ball at the Ravens’ 40.

Niles Paul also fumbled a kickoff in the fourth quarter, but the recovery was ruled to have been made out of bounds after a review. Paul, who replaced Banks on kickoffs, had two returns for 37 yards. If he’s returning kicks against the Browns, he’s probably got the replay official to thank for a second chance.