Special teams blunder costly for Redskins

Special teams blunder costly for Redskins
December 2, 2013, 1:30 am
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Moss: We can't rely on refs to call the game for us

Washington Redskins long snapper Kyle Nelson (40) against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Redskins 34-27.

(Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

Redskins long snapper Kyle Nelson took full responsibility for the ill-timed, botched snap in the third quarter of Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Giants. 

“Just a miscommunication,” Nelson said. “I thought I heard something else. I was just thinking way too much.”

The Redskins were clinging to 17-14 lead when they lined up for a punt at their own 38-yard line. But Nelson failed to deliver the ball to Sav Rocca. Instead, his snap bounced short, forcing Rocca to pick the ball up and scramble just to get off a punt that was partially blocked.

As a result, the Giants got the ball near midfield. And four plays later, Andre Brown had his second touchdown of the night and the Giants owned a 21-17 lead they would not relinquish.

[MORE: Shanahan explains referee controversy]

“I was just caught in the middle of the snap,” Nelson added. “I honestly shouldn’t have snapped it. I should have waited. Worse case scenario, we take a delay of game or a false start.”

Nelson was also assessed a holding penalty on the play.

“Long story short, it never should have happened,” Nelson said, adding that he’s never botched a snap so badly, not even in practice. “I was just caught in the middle. I didn’t want to snap it. And at the same time, I wanted to snap it. It was just a miscommunication. Next time I’ll know if I hear something that I wasn’t sure about, I’ll just take the penalty.”

[MORE: Redskins continue to crumble against Giants]

Mike Shanahan said of the critical mistake: “I though [Rocca] did a heck of a job to get the punt off. Anytime you roll it like that…it was a bad snap. Kyle’s done a good job for us, and for some reason he didn’t make the snap on that play.” 

Nelson was signed in October to replace Nick Sundberg, who was lost for the season due to a knee injury. Sundberg is among the most reliable snappers in the league.

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