As Dustin Hopkins watched a 50-yard field goal sail through the uprights during the third quarter of Washington's win over the Bengals on Sunday, it seemed as if Washington's kicking problems may have finally been cured.
The veteran was 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts and just overcame his biggest struggle on the year of kicking from 40 yards or more, as he was just 6-for-10 entering the contest. Maybe he just needed to see one go through, and now the struggles were in the past.
Yet, just a few drives later, Hopkins' attempt for 38 yards was wide right. After hitting form 50, he missed a kick that should be almost automatic.
So, after entering the week with questions about the position, where does Washington stand now? Well, sort of in the same place.
Yes, Hopkins showed that he can still hit from long distance, but he failed to do something equally as important: put up a clean sheet. With the miss toward the end of the game, he's now failed to hit at 100 percent in four of his last five games.
Ron Rivera stated earlier last week that he was not making a kicking change and never really considered one. He could continue to go that route and cite Hopkins' 50-yard conquest as a reason why. However, the miss in the game may be more telling than the make.
On Sunday, the failed attempt in the fourth quarter did not matter. The three points did nothing but potentially impact Washington's point differential. Yet, the team is all too familiar with what it could have meant. Just a week ago, a miss by Hopkins loomed largely in the 30-27 loss.
The score was different in Week 11, but what Hopkins did was rather similar.
Seeing him hit a 50-yard field goal is encouraging, and it gives reason to believe that he can once again regain form. Still, the following result shows that the inconsistency is still there. With six games remaining and the division on the line, three points will continue to mean everything for Washington.