With five seconds left in the game and his team down by two, Dustin Hopkins lined up a 48-yard field goal for the win.
The snap was a bit off but the hold was good, and Hopkins pushed it to the right. A roller-coaster of a game ends in a missed kick and Washington will now have to dig themselves out of an 0-2 hole to start the season.
Wait, not so fast. There's a flag on the play. Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence was offside, giving Hopkins a second chance at the game-winning field goal that will now be five yards closer.
Hopkins admitted he's never had a second chance at a game-winning kick like he did Thursday night, and he couldn't have been happier that it came after a miss.
"Circumstances don't change who I am or who we are," Hopkins said after the game. "I feel the same way, like the make or miss is not going to change who I am or what that means for our family as a whole but man, it feels good to win one. Like that feeling of something really going your way. I've had it to where you feel like you've hit a really good ball and it hits the post or something and you feel like you're that close but to have something like this where you get the second chance? I've never. I don't think I've ever had that happen. So I just feel blessed and thankful.”
Hopkins ultimately made the game-winner from 43 yards out, sneaking it inside the right goalpost to give his team their first win of the 2021 season. After a shaky preseason, the 31-year-old appears to have settled in early on by hitting six of his first seven kicks and all four extra points.
“It was huge, especially for the confidence of Dustin [Hopkins] more so anything else," head coach Ron Rivera said. "Sometimes you get that second opportunity, and you can’t miss that one. It was good to see. Something like this might catapult him forward into a nice rhythm. As far Cheeseman is concerned, I know that he can make a positive snap in this clutch situation and that will carry over for him.”
Similar to last season, Hopkins struggled early on in the year but eventually figured things out. If he can continue to produce the way he has through the first two weeks of the season, calls for a change at kicker in Washington will once again be rendered premature.
“We just wanted that to go in," Terry McLaurin said. "We know how hard Hop works, and we got the penalty, so it gave us another chance and he sunk it and the other things don’t matter because he hit it when we needed it the most. So, it just felt good to get a win against these guys. It’s been a long time. I know I haven’t been a part of a win against these guys since I’ve been here, so that was a great team win, to come out like that in front of this great crowd. They gave us so much energy tonight, so tonight was really fun.”
It wasn't the prettiest way to win a game, but in the end, a win is certainly a win. No harm done, as long as Hopkins' mom is OK.
"Can somebody out there check on my mother?" Hopkins said. "She's probably had a heart attack."